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'F*ck off Mercosur': Angry scenes outside Leinster House as farmers protest against EU trade deal

There were heated scenes in the crowd during today’s protest when a farmer rounded on Fianna Fáil’s Jackie Cahill.

A protester outside Leinster House as farmers protest against new trade deal.
A protester outside Leinster House as farmers protest against new trade deal.
Image: Leah Farrell

THERE WERE ANGRY scenes outside Leinster House this lunchtime as farmers protested against the EU’s Mercosur trade deal.

A Sinn Féin motion to reject the deal is to be debated in the Dáil this evening.

Roscommon TD Michael Fitzmaurice received a rapturous applause when he took to the stage to address farmers. 

He said from 2010 to 2012 “when there were no Mercs to be sold and no homes to be built, the country relied on you as farmers. Now, when the country is starring to move they think they can shite down on top of you”. 

“Today is the beginning, the beginning of the rural revival. Today we will stand up and there is more of this to come.

“We will not be walked over, rural Ireland will live. Say fuck off to Mercosur,” shouted Fitzmaurice. 

There were heated scenes in the crowd during today’s protest when a farmer rounded on Fianna Fáil’s Jackie Cahill.

Clearly unhappy with Fianna Fáil’s confidence and supply arrangement with Fine Gael, the protester said he would not be voting for Fianna Fáil again, telling Cahill they are the “same as the blueshirts”. 

“There was a Fianna Fáil, but not anymore, Jackie,” he said. 

The issue of the trade deal was also raised by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald during Leaders’ Questions today. 

“You say that this deal needs to be assessed and tested,” she told the Taoiseach.

“It sounds to me like you’re quite prepared to throw farming families under the bus,” she added, stating that maybe his government had bigger corporate interests at heart. 

“That’s how it sounds to me and I think that’s who it sounds to the farmers at the gate.”

Varadkar said the government would assess the deal, but admitted there are “downsides” to the beef sector. 

9973 Farmers Protest_90575228 Source: Leah Farrell

However, he said there are “upsides” for other sectors like dairy and other businesses. He said the beef coming to the EU must be of the same standards produced by Irish farmers.

Today’s protested ended with farmers piling Wellington boots outside the gates of Leinster House. 

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