Farmers protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis look likely to reject the agreement which was hammered out a lengthy beef talks over the weekend.

They will meet in Ballyhaunis at 9pm tonight to vote on whether to accept or reject the deal, but it appears it will be rejected, as the agreement failed to address the base price they're getting for their cattle.

Six of the country's largest farm organisations are recommending the terms of the settlement, but Independent Farmers of Ireland -set up to represent farmers at the factory gates- said they have to go back to their members to discuss the deal.

Despite over 30 hours of talks over the weekend, and an agreement outlining increases to bonuses, an extension of age limits on cattle and the introduction of a beef task force, the farmers blockading meat plants say the deal doesn't go far enough to address their concerns over the price they're paid for their livestock.

Pickets are continuing outside at least 16 plants this evening, and some 3,000 workers have been temporarily laid off from the factories - including several hundred in Ballyhaunis - while processing has been suspended.

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