The first meeting of the beef taskforce, which was due to take place on Monday at 10am, has been postponed due to protests outside the Department of Agriculture.

In the region of 40 farmers from around the country gathered in support of a number of farmers who have not had their injunctions lifted by C&D Foods, which is owned by Larry Goodman.

Senior director of Meat Industry Ireland (MII) Cormac Healy was refused entry to the meeting by protesters, who said that MII did not uphold the agreement that injunctions would be lifted if farmers ceased the blockades at factory gates.

Department response

A statement from the Department of Agriculture said that the meeting was "suspended following altercations outside Agriculture House".

The Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine Michael Creed has condemned Monday morning’s incidents.

“It is in the interests of everyone involved in the beef industry that the work of the taskforce goes ahead.

"The taskforce’s remit is to monitor the implementation of the actions arising from the agreement reached on 15 September and offers the most viable platform for strategic engagement with key stakeholders.

"It was a great pity that farm representatives were not in a position to air the legitimate concerns of farmers at the taskforce," he said.

Refused to engage

Members of the Beef Plan Movement and the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) stood with the protesters and refused to engage with the taskforce until all legal action was lifted.

Dermot O'Brien of the Beef Plan Movement said: "We will wait for Michael Dowling (the independent chair) to make a statement. Going forward, we would be hopeful that the beef taskforce will resume again this week."

INHFA president Colm O'Donnell said that the organisation is there "in solidarity with the farmers and will not cross the picket until all injunctions are lifted".

Read more

Protesters confront Meat Industry Ireland at beef taskforce meeting

Calls for injunctions to be lifted ahead of beef taskforce meeting