“Today was one of the toughest days I’ve put down since I became manager,” Dan McCarthy told the public in an emotional report.
In a video posted on Facebook yesterday (Thursday, October 23) following a “disaster” of an online sale, Kenmare Co-op Mart’s manager and Kerry County Councillor Dan McCarthy expressed the pressure farmers are under due to Level 5 restrictions.
Since McCarthy took over as mart manager in 2004, he said yesterday was the toughest day he has put down.
“The staff, the farmers, the buyers that [were] involved in the sale today…it turned out to be what the department is doing with us in the mart is a total fiasco, a total disaster and it’s not right and fair.
“To think that we, as farmers, will have to put up with this; no internet and having to bid online.
“I’m looking at a box up on the front of the stage all day long trying to get people to buy cattle and the internet went down when one man would bid.”
He said that the mart was running a show for the last number of months that included adequate social distancing and there was “no need to worry that Covid would come into any mart if they ran it the way we were running it”.
“I’m asking anyone that’s listening to me this evening to contact NPHET [National Public Health Emergency Team] and contact the Minister for Agriculture to please listen to the people that [are] on the frontline,” he continued.
“There are frontline workers in hospital; we’re frontline workers with the farmers.
“There are farmers under stress, under frustration, and we’ll see a lot more happening with depression and suicide if this thing is not sorted within the next week or two.
“They cannot continue what is happening. We will have to leave 20 or 25 people into the ring to buy the cattle because this online thing is a complete and utter joke – it can’t work, it won’t work.
‘We’re the people of rural Ireland’
“We’re the people of rural Ireland and we’re the people who are trying to keep rural Ireland going and we’re the people that are going to get the country out of the recession we’re in; but please listen to me and take note because this is an utter disaster for the people that are trying to sell their cattle,” McCarthy continued.
“I’m asking you to help the people that are trying to get this country moving again and not be trying to close down and walk over us.
“People inside of cities and things are going out and causing the trouble – we are not. We’re honest people trying to make money for a few farmers. This is absolutely ludicrous.
“I know there are frontline workers under pressure but by God after today, we’re under severe pressure and I think every mart that was on today, I can safely say if it was anything like we had, it was a disaster.”
Reading out the prices from the sale yesterday, McCarthy said “they weren’t too bad” when the mart could get internet coverage. He could be heard saying a number of times during the sale: “Is there anyone in Ireland who will give me another fiver?”