Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he welcomes the decision by the farmers engaged in peaceful protest outside the ABP Food plant in Cahir to call a halt to their demonstration. The farmers were one of the last group of protestors in the country to hold out their protest following the Agreement made at the weekend between Meat Industry Ireland and the 7 organisations who were representing the farmers interests:
“I think the decision by the farmers in Cahir, and indeed their supporters, to step away from the factory gates, will give us all much-needed breathing space to assess the impact of the agreement.
I am now calling on the factories and MII to immediately re-engage the 350 workers who were temporarily let go.
I am also calling on MII to provide guarantees that it will not engage in any direct or indirect punitive action against those farmers and their representatives.
I am still of the firm view however, that if further movement is not made in area of base prices then it is unlikely that this will be the end of the matter in the long term.
For now, we have some breathing space to assess and plot a way forward that will enable farmer and factory worker to be protected and that is something I very much welcome” concluded Deputy McGrath.