The restructured group representing protesters at the recent meat factory demonstrations – the Independent Farmers of Ireland (IFoI) – has issued a statement outlining its position going forward under new representation.

Hitting back at a resignation statement issued by the group’s former representatives yesterday, Wednesday, September 25, the IFoI said that the spokespeople had been “stood down” following a vote held by representatives from 15 factory pickets at a meeting from which the three were absent.

During the same meeting, held in Ballacolla, Co. Laois, on Tuesday night, September 24 – according to the IFoI – the group’s interim committee appointed three independent mediators from the Beef Strategy Group to represent the group in talks going forward.

Three mediators elected include: Alo Mohan; Noel Long; and Seamus Maye.

While the restructured group acknowledged efforts made by the former representatives in the recent beef talks, the grouping said that it “disagreed fundamentally” with the representatives’ open letter on two key points: that only a “minority” of protesters were unhappy with the agreement struck; and that the IFoI name had ceased to exist.

In a statement of its own, IFoI said: “A significant majority of farmers rejected the terms of the Beef Industry Reform Agreement.

The IFoI has a clear mandate to go forward and represent these farmers.

“The IFoI will continue to work on behalf of farmers to build on the achievements of the past four weeks,” the group said, adding that it “looks forward” to participating in the beef taskforce that is in the process of being established.