Taking injunctions against individual farmers ‘like David vs. Goliath’

It is highly regrettable that individual farmers have been named in High Court injunctions brought forward by certain meat processors, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

The Roscommon-Galway TD was reacting to the news that the High Court granted temporary injunctions restraining a number of named protesters from continuing to picket outside factory gates.

“It is disappointing that the factories have turned towards taking out personal injunctions against individual farmers – the producers of beef. It is like David versus Goliath or the elephant versus the mouse,” deputy Fitzmaurice said.

It’s a sad day when the producers of beef in this country are being threatened with legal action by processors.

“Farmers deserve to receive a fair and sustainable price for their produce,” the TD said, adding that, in his view, frustration around price is what has driven them to protesting at factory gates.

“The reality is that we need to find solutions to this issue. I have called for the chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pat Deering, to arrange a meeting of the committee as soon as possible.

“Representatives from the retailers, as well as Meat Industry Ireland (MII) personnel, need to be brought in to bring some transparency to the supply chain.

We have been told that price couldn’t be spoken about in the previous crunch talks – but, within the realm of the committee, members could ask the difficult questions.

“I am happy that Willie Penrose and Rose Conway Walsh have already come back in support of this call, with others expected to follow suit.

“As public representatives we need to be proactive in finding practical solutions to the problems facing the beef sector at the moment,” deputy Fitzmaurice concluded.