Some customers of Irish beef exports have not been served in recent days due to the ongoing protests, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

In a statement, the body that represents meat processors highlighted what it said is the “serious impact” that the protests were having on staff, customers and “genuine farmer suppliers”.

“We are not yet at the stage of white shelves in the domestic market. It should be remembered that the home market accounts for 10% of all the beef we produce,” said the statement.

It is the case, however, that some customers in our export markets have not been served in recent days due to the blockages at processing facilities here.

MII argued that the blockades – which according to the statement, now affect 17 plants, some of which are fully blockaded – are “extremely damaging”.

The group reiterated its argument that the poor prices for farmers in the sector are as a result of a “downturn in demand evident right across the European market”.

“Irish cattle price is at the average of EU cattle price,” the statement said.

MII members remain ready to work constructively with any process the Minister [Michael Creed] might establish with a view to bringing to an end these protests.

Several protests remain ongoing around the country, with a number of incidents arising.

Most recently, today, Tuesday, September 3, there were tense scenes at a protest at a Dawn Meats plant in Rathdowney, Co. Laois, when two lorries attempted to get through the protest to leave the factory in the town.

According to farmers demonstrating outside the plant, factory staff presented them with court order letters detailing the injunction secured by Dawn Meats at the High Court last week.

However, the Rathdowney protesters told the factory staff that they “reject the injunctions”.