Hundreds of farmers from South Tipperary took part in the 24 hour IFA protest over cattle prices outside the ABP plant in Cahir.
As part of a national IFA protest which saw protests outside thirty meat plants,farmers mounted a twent hour hour protest outside ABP in Cahir with other protests in the county taking place in Nenagh and Roscrea.
South Tipperary IFA Chairman Simon Ryan said the organisation was thrilled with the turnout which at its peak had two hundred farmers outside the ABP plant inCahir with up to five hundred taking part over the twenty four hour period.
At the end of the protest at 3pm on Tuesday Simon Ryan said the mood of the farmers was very angry.
“They will come back if needs be” insisted the IFA spokesperson.
Simon Ryan said the level of support was very strong among farmers for the protest in Cahir.
“We were very happy with the turnout.The support among farmers in South Tipperary for this protest was very impressive. Farmers are sick and tired of poor prices all year.Farmers are going to stand up until this issue is sorted out,” he said.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that protests by beef farmers point to the total failure of the government’s strategy to come to grips with the crisis.
Deputy McGrath,who visited the ABP meat processing plant in Cahir, said that beef farmers were forced to take their protest to the Dáil earlier in the year in order to highlight government inaction towards “the cartel like behaviour of the beef factory industry”.
“The industries decision to target prime steers and heifers with new price and weight cut specifications has totally destabilised the viability of the beef sector in this county. The Department of Agriculture have contributed to this by essentially backing away from the factory owners and adopting an overly diplomatic approach to their actions,” said Deputy McGrath.
“The fact of the matter is that beef farmers have been enduring these kinds of manipulative tactics from the industry for a considerable period of time. Their sole concern is to back beef farmers into a corner where they are then left with no option but to sell their livestock at significantly reduced prices” said Deputy McGrath.
Deputy McGrath said it was a crisis being deliberately generated by the industry with scant regard for the ability of farmers to sustain their livelihoods.
“It is my hope that today’s protests which are peaceful and the last resort for all of us will finally awaken the Government to the true nature of the crisis and force it to intervene more effectively before the beef sector goes beyond the point of no return,” concluded Deputy McGrath.