• A delegation of Chinese inspectors has failed to gain access to the Kepak meat plant in Athleague, Co Roscommon, due to a protest outside the factory.

    Inspectors have been visiting meat plants across the country to approve them as exporters to China, and are expected to visit Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis tomorrow.

    Farmers protesting outside the Ballyhaunis factory said they will not hinder the Chinese delegation.

    Efforts are continuing to find a resolution to the dispute over beef prices, as  protests at meat factories are now in their second week.

    Farmers taking part in the protests are unhappy with the price they are being paid for cattle they present for slaughter at factories.

  • Minister Denis Naughten last night rejected claims that the closure of post offices in the west and midlands will lead to the closure of dozens of small businesses and job losses.

    According to RTE News, Minister Naughten was told at a public meeting in Athleague, that the decision to close 159 post offices was akin to treason in the economy of rural Ireland.

    11 post offices are due to close in Mayo, 17 in Galway and five in Roscommon.

    Minister Naughten was told at the meeting that there would be widespread closures of other small businesses in the constituency as a result.

    The Minister reiterated what he told Midwest News yesterday – that An Post was not withdrawing contracts and anybody who wished to stay open could do so, while independent reviews could also be sought.

    However Minister Naughten was widely criticised for a failure to support village post offices.


  • Sheep farmers are staging a protest at the Kepak factory in Athleague, Co Roscommon over the falling prices for lamb.

    The Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association says their members are protesting at the entrance to the Kepak factory since yesterday afternoon, and will remain there until the prices are increased by €8 per lamb.

    They claim the prices paid by Kepak are among the lowest in the country, and that the price per kilo for lamb has fallen by €1 in the past year - wiping out any profit for farmers.

    Séan McNamara, ICSA Sheep Chairman, told Midwest News that Kepak are currently paying €4.80 per kilo, and they're demanding €5.20 - a difference of €8 per lamb.




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