October 16, 2019

Irish agriculture minister slams protesters for disrupting beef taskforce meeting


Ireland's Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has slammed protesting farmers for disrupting an October 14 meeting involving a beef taskforce and personnel from the meat sector.


Scuffles occurred outside the Irish Department of Agriculture office as protesters blocked Meat Industry Ireland representatives from entering the building. Many of the protesters called for legal threats against farmers dropped - an action that has already been undertaken according to Cormac Healy from Meat Industry Ireland. 


Creed said that unresolved matters affecting farmers will only be dealt with through discussions.


"The kind of behaviour that we saw - intimidation, belligerence - outside the front door of the Department and the manner in which people going about their daily business were intimidated and attacked is not acceptable behaviour in any normal democratic society," said the minister.


"We did negotiate. We did put together a beef market taskforce and it should be allowed to get up and running and do its work."


Driven by unhappiness over cattle prices, Irish beef farmers had, in recent months, organised more than 20 pickets at local meat processing plants, causing disruption to the beef industry for weeks.


- Irish Examiner