Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he supports the decision of some beef farmers to re-commence protests outside processing plants and factories. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he joined a number of determined farmers outside the ABP Plant in Cahir, Co. Tipperary:
“The farmers I spoke to feel utterly betrayed by the outcome of so-called negotiation process. This was the last resort for them.
They are adamant that they will not move until genuine progress has been made on the core issue of pricing justice and a revision of the completely arbitrary 30-month rule.
At this point, they are calling on Meat Industry Ireland (MII) to release any and all analysis that they have commissioned can be found to justify the 30-month rule.
It is hugely frustrating for these farmers to hear MII reps asking them to cease their protests simply to avoid disruption to the upcoming plant visits by the Chinese delegation.
That is nothing but a further attempt to shift the blame for the chaos and inequity within the system on to the farmers themselves.
It is MII and indeed Minister Creed, who through ears of inaction, have directly brought about the scenario we are now in.
They are the ones who have undermined the sustainability of the entire sector and they are the ones who must compromise, not the hard working farmer who is still as badly off today as he was 4 weeks ago,” concluded Deputy McGrath.