‘We‘re asking for fair play – big business is beating us down‘

Farmers protesting in Dublin tell Claire Fox why they have taken to the streets.

John Brady

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Suckler farmer, Ballyjames-duff, Co Cavan

If there‘s a bad price (for beef), there‘s a bad price for my weanlings and calves. I came to Dublin protesting in 1966 – I wasn‘t afraid to protest again.

James Geoghegan

Beef farmer and contractor, Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath

I‘m here to get rid of the beef cartel. The only cure is for Minister Creed to leave his role. We won‘t give up until he resigns. The beef price is 45c/kg under the UK beef price. Beef has gone up all over Europe in the last three weeks and there has been no price rise in Ireland. It‘s crazy. Talks need to go ahead now.

Jolene Smith

Suckler and sheep farmer, Ballyjames-duff, Co Cavan.

It‘s been a terrible year. We had 100 sheep stolen off our land. It‘s been an absolute write-off. I have five children. We need action. We need an increase in our prices. We are operating way below our cost of production. It‘s costing us €4.70 to produce the animal per kilo, we are working on a receiving price of €3.45/kg. We can‘t sustain it.

Michael Coyle

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Beef farmer, Ballyjames-duff, Co Cavan

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I‘m here to get Minister Creed to uphold an agreement to lift injunctions and get the taskforce up and running and implement all the things like weights and grades discussed.

We were on a picket for seven weeks so we have become accustomed to this. Base price is a big issue. To drop them 50c/kg between June and mid-July… as a result I‘m taking €200/hd less for my heifers. It‘s a loss-making exercise.

Michael McNally

Suckler farmer, Summerhill, Co Meath

Minister Creed is working for the meat industry and not the farmers. We‘re asking for fair play. Big business is beating us down. It‘s disappointing that the main farming organisations didn‘t support us and farmers had to take matters in to their own hands.

Daniel Long

Dairy and beef farmer, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

This is a rural Ireland protest. Anybody who says ‘why are farmers protesting?‘ probably don‘t understand the penalisation farmers are facing. There are a lot of young farmers who don‘t speak up. I gave a hand in Cahir protesting during the summer. The Minister doesn‘t represent farmers any more.

James Roche

Dairy and beef farmer, Tullogher, Co Kilkenny

It‘s about the issues around Bord Bia importation and labelling as well as VAT on feedlots, on what they can get away with in comparison to the local farmers. The Minister has been asleep at the wheel for a long time.

Indo Farming

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