Mary Lou McDonald TD calls on Minister Creed to intervene in Beef Plan protests
Sinn Féin President, Mary Lou McDonald, has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to directly intervene in the ongoing stand-off between beef farmers and the meat processing industry
Deputy McDonald was speaking after she visited protesting farmers at Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan last evening where she was accompanied by local Sinn Féin representatives Pauline Tully and Matt Carthy MEP. She told farmers that Minister Creed had a responsibility to ensure that farmers received a fair price for their product and that his current position was unacceptable.
“Beef farmers do not want to be on the picket lines. They are there because they believe they have no choice, that their livelihoods are under threat and that the family farm model in which they operate will cease to exist unless drastic action is taken.
“Minister Creed has a responsibility to those farmers. His actions in recent days, in repeating the preconditions laid down by Meat Industry Ireland, are unacceptable. The Minister needs to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their product.
“In the first instance the Minister must insist that MII meet with farm organisations without preconditions. The fact that the industry has been willing to threaten legal action against farmers and lay-off workers rather than engage in talks has been telling. The meat plant workers have been innocent victims in this dispute, their livelihoods also depend on a speedy resolution to this situation.
“The Minister must also work with Sinn Féin and others in bringing forward measures that protect our family farms, that ensure that farmers secure fair prices, that there is full transparency across the sector and that the EU market is not flooded with cheap beef imports. Our farmers, and the rural communities that depend on them, deserve no less”.