Tense scenes developed at a farmer picket in Rathdowney, Co. Laois, earlier today, Tuesday, September 3, 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 parent company Dawn Meats at the High Court last week.

In a statement issued by Dawn Meats after the hearing last Friday, August 30, it was outlined that: “The permanent injunction extends to all unnamed persons engaging in the illegal blockades and intimidation at all Dawn Meats facilities.”

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

Shortly afterwards, it is understood that as two lorries approached the picket from the factory seeking to leave the premises; they were blocked by protesters.

Following this, members of An Garda Síochána arrived on scene. It is understood that the Gardaí monitored the situation, but no arrests were made.

Approximately 40 demonstrators were present at the picket at the time.

Following several highly charged minutes, AgriLand is told that the lorries reversed back into the plant premises.

New Group

Meanwhile, a new group representing the protesting farmers, named the Independent Farmers of Ireland, has elected three national representatives following its first meeting last night, Monday, September 2.

The three spokespeople will have a mandate “to speak and negotiate on behalf of all the peacefully protesting independent farmers of Ireland at any talks or discussions relating to the current beef crisis that our industry is undergoing”, the organisation has said.