Renewed farmer protests at a number of factories

There are reports that farmer protests have begun at a number of beef factories around the country today, Sunday, August 25 – though it is not clear at this time if any farmer representative group has sanctioned these actions.

There is no confirmation as of yet regarding where these protests are taking place, though it is understood that two sites in Munster and one in Leinster are affected.

AgriLand understands that these are independent groups of farmers acting under their own initiative, and are not protesting under the banner of any particular farmer group.

Representatives from the Beef Plan Movement have told AgriLand that they have not sanctioned any protests, and that the group has advised its members not to take such action.

Yesterday, Saturday, August 24, the Beef Plan Movement reiterated the call for its members to refrain from protesting at beef processor gates around the country due to the possibility of legal action.

Speaking to AgriLand, Eoin Donnelly – the group’s chairperson for the west region and vice-chairperson for Co. Galway – outlined that the threat of a legal injunction remains over the group, saying “it is only suspended, not withdrawn”.

Donnelly explained that during the beef talks that concluded in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) “proposed temporarily suspending the legal action”, versus the Beef Plan Movement proposal for proceedings to be withdrawn. According to the movement, Minister Michael Creed agreed with the MII proposal.

He explained that the wording was critical in the request, saying it asked for “all protests to be suspended and for legal proceedings to be suspended”.

Following the talks that concluded in the early hours of Wednesday morning, August 21, the reaction from the majority of farmer groups was mixed, with most acknowledging some progress on a number of issues, but saying that the key issue – that of farmer prices – remained to be addressed.