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Independent TD says Creed should resign if he does not apologise for death threat comments

Creed made the comments in the Dáil yesterday and some farmers are calling for an apology.

TD Mattie McGrath in the Dáil today
TD Mattie McGrath in the Dáil today
Image: Oireachtas TV

INDEPENDENT TD MATTIE McGrath has said he wants Minster for Agriculture Michael Creed to apologise for comments yesterday regarding death threats made to workers in a beef company.

Tipperary TD McGrath said he wants an apology over the comments which some farmers have argued appear to defend meat factory injunctions against farmers because they alluded to these alleged death threats. 

Farmers from around the country ended their tractor demonstration near the Dáil earlier today which had been ongoing since yesterday. The farmers had demanded action on the price of beef and accused Minister Creed of letting Irish farmers down.  

“I want him [Creed] to apologise to this House for the wrong that he committed perpetrating on those decent people yesterday,” McGrath said in the Dáil chamber today.

“I salute the farmers in the protest. They are on their knees and ye have abandoned them and ignored them because ye are in bed with Larry Goodman and the big beef barons and ye won’t touch them.”

Creed said in the Dáil yesterday that senior management in beef producer company C&D Foods had “death threats issued against them, and their partners and families have been intimidated”. The minister said that senior gardaí are aware of the threats. 

Some farmers have argued this statement seemed to defend meat factor injunctions against farmers by mentioning alleged death threats, the Irish Farmers Journal reported. 

Creed has said he didn’t make connections or allegations that the protesters in the tractor demonstration or those who have been served with injunctions were the ones who made the alleged threats. 

A garda spokesperson said: “An Garda Síochána is aware of incidents of phone calls received by a person but neither an allegation or formal written complaint of a ‘death threat’ has been made.”

2553 Farmers protest_90585954 Tractors at the protest earlier today in Dublin city centre. Source: Sam Boal

A discussion was held on the beef taskforce and the implementation of the beef agreement in the Dáil today. Creed was not in the chamber during the discussion. 

McGrath said he was shocked Creed wasn’t there today after his comments yesterday. 

“If he [Creed] doesn’t come in here to this house and retract what he said yesterday, an outrageous slur, he’s not fit for office, he should resign,” said McGrath. 

TD Denis Naughten said farmers were frustrated at the moment, adding that “what farm families need now is money”.

Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said the current situation for farmers is not sustainable. 

“Everybody is making money out of beef except the people that produce it, and that’s not fair and that’s not right,” said Healy-Rae. 

With reporting by Christina Finn. 

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