I’ve gone to hundreds of meetings over the years. However, I think last Thursday’s meeting about fixed milk prices in the Dolmen Hotel in Carlow might be the toughest I’ve ever had to report on.

Even describing it is a challenge. It was “facilitated by the IFA”, as my colleague Declan O’Brien said in this week’s Irish Farmers Journal previewing it. And indeed the top table comprised of president Tim Cullinan, who chaired the meeting, director general Damian McDonald, dairy chair Stephen Arthur, acting dairy executive Karol Kissane, and the IFA’s legal counsel, James Staines. The meeting was anchored by Waterford IFA chair John Heffernan, who was outside not just his county but his region.