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Monday 2 October 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Eamonn Farrell/ Protesters pictured outside the ABP factory in Waterford last month.
# Protests
Farmers end blockades at several beef processing sites
Protests are still taking place outside certain factories.

BLOCKADES BY FARMERS at several beef processing sites have been stood down.

The Beef Plan Movement had agreed to stand down protests in a deal made with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed last weekend.

However, some blockades remained in place until last night. Protests are still taking place outside certain factories.

A spokesperson for the Beef Plan Movement today told that blockades have been stood down outside plants in Slane, Cahir, Nenagh, Charleville, Watergrasshill, Grannagh, Waterford, Athleague and Ballyhaunis.

Farmers have been protesting the price they receive for their animals. An agreement was reached last Sunday after nearly 30 hours of talks.

The main points contained in the agreement include a new bonus for cattle aged between 30 and 36 months, of eight cents/kg, as well as the current bonus for 30-month cattle increasing from 12 to 20 cent/kg. However, some farmers believe the deal does not go far enough.

The agreement will only come into effect once all protests are stood down.

‘Best blueprint for the future’ 

In a statement, a spokesperson from Independent Farmers Ireland last night said the fact that most protests have now been stood down means it is “quite clear that the majority of the protesters have decided that the proposal agreed last Sunday, while not ideal, provides the best blueprint for the future”.

The Independent Farmers of Ireland wish to thank all the brave men and women who walked these protests and who made the difficult decision to stand down … They started this process for the greater good and clearly tonight they followed the same course.

“Hopefully over the weekend other protests will decide to follow the same course of action and perhaps next week we will all be able to return our farms with a hopeful view to the future.”

Representatives from the meat industry and the Department of Justice will meet today in a bid to examine how the remaining sites can be cleared, according to RTÉ News.

Jobs at risk 

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) yesterday said that the protests have caused “severe long-term damage to the beef sector”.

“The illegal action of a small minority is negatively impacting the livelihoods of thousands of workers, farmers with cattle to sell, hauliers and other service providers, and is putting the entire Irish beef sector in jeopardy,” a statement noted.

Meat plant ABP yesterday confirmed that 100 workers will be laid off, blaming the blockade outside a factory in Cahir (one of those to reportedly end overnight). This followed the announcement earlier this week that 355 employees would be temporarily laid off as a result of the protests.

MII has been working with other farming organisations, including the Irish Farmers’ Association and Irish Cattle and Sheep farmers’ Association, to de-escalate tensions in recent days.

With reporting by Conor McCrave

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