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Injunctions against two farmers over beef protests to be struck out

The company has requested for the injunctions to be lifted.

C&D pet food store in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.
C&D pet food store in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A PET FOOD company has requested that injunctions be lifted against two farmers who protested outside its store in Longford in September.

C&D Foods Edgeworthstown, a pet food facility, was blockaded by protesters two months ago during the time of beef protests around the country. The company is owned by ABP Group, an animal processing business owned by Larry Goodman. 

C&D Foods said that staff were intimidated and 187 employees were forced to be laid off during the protest. 

“The blockade was led by Fine Gael [councillor] Pauric Brady and Colm Leonard, a local carpenter, in conjunction with the Beef Plan Movement,” a statement from C&D Foods said. 

“C&D Foods do not buy or process cattle and C&D Foods is financed and managed separately and independently from ABP. C&D Foods is not a member of Meat Industry Ireland.”

The company said it was granted injunctions against Brady and Leonard. It complained to gardaí “following threats made against management in relation to those injunctions”.  

The company said it has met with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed over the past few weeks and have received assurances “in relation to the intimidation and threats made against management”.

“The Minister for Justice has assured us that the relevant authorities will act to protect our employees, our business and uphold the rule of law,” the statement said. 

The company has now applied for the injunctions to be struck out. 

Yesterday, a tractor demonstration ended in Dublin city centre after farmers from around the country closed roads near the Dáil. The independent protest group wanted action on the price of beef and for these now-struck out injunctions to be ceased. 

Widely welcomed

President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) Edmond Phelan welcomed the injunctions being struck out. 

Phelan said that farmers have been “losing money hand over fist” in recent times. 

The Beef Plan movement, the group behind the previous protests held by farmers outside beef processing plants, also welcomed the announcement.

Spokesperson for Beef Plan Dermot O’Brien said threatening legal action against any farmer is a “huge point of contention” and a demonstration of power.

O’Brien said that the Beef Market Taskforce “must now sit straight away” to move forwards on the points agreed upon between farmers and the Department of Agriculture last month.  

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President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Joe Healy said it was “petty and mean-spirited” to keep the injunctions in place until now.

“What farmers are really looking for now is a price increase,” said Healy in a statement.   

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