Independent TD Mattie McGrath has again called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to re-open talks aimed at ending the beef protests. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he contributed to a lengthy Dáil debate on the matter last night:
“The fundamental priority at this point must be to reengage with all the major stakeholders so we can this bring crisis to a conclusion.
It is absolutely clear that unless a mechanism can be found which permits the raising of base prices for beef then this issue is going to be prolonged, with all the devastating consequences that we have seen to date only getting worse.
There is just too much on the line, and there are too many jobs at stake, for this to go on without a commitment to tackle the fundamental issues surrounding price.
Now that the Beef Plan Movement has been granted a Producer Organisation status, there is no reason why this commitment could not be given.
What we also have to see is an immediate end to the legal threats from MII that have begun to re-emerge.
That is not conducive to finding a resolution because it just polarises opinion even further.
The priority of the factories should be about finding meaningful ways in which they discuss base price issues. That will be the surest way of protecting all those misfortunate workers who have been caught up in this crisis through no fault of their own.
We can and we should be imaginative and creative enough to find a way to protect the interests of both farmer and factory worker alike. That should be our goal at this point,” concluded Deputy McGrath.