It’s stalemate on Day 13 of the farmers protest outside meat factories over the collapse in beef prices.
Hundreds of jobs remain on the line in factories and there’s the threat of a court battle against protesting farmers by the meat plants.
Westport based Independent councillor Johno O’Malley insists that the only solution to the crisis is for the factories to pay more per kilo, per animal.
At the moment there appears to be no end in sight to the dispute that has shut down 14 factories around the country, and has seen up to 200 workers temporarily laid off at Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis “into the forseeable future”. These are all workers involved in beef processing, sheep processing is continuing at the Ballyhaunis plant.
Last night a number of major meat processors are understood to have written to the Beef Plan movement warning it has just hours to stand down or face immediate legal action.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed now faces intense pressure to find a way to help resolve the dispute.
Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy has pleaded with Minister Creed not to get hung up about any precondition before going into talks, but rather to go ahead with round table discussions even if farmers continue their protests at the gates of meat factories. Speaking to Midwest News he said that stalemate in the crisis for another number of days is likely, as farmers are adamant they will continue
Councillor Johno O’Malley insists the meat factories must pay more per kilo for animals, if farmers are to survive in the beef industry. Farmers need a price of 4 euro or more per kilo to make a living, he says.
He joined the protest line outside Dawn Meats with the farmers yesterday.