'Farmers can't take anymore': Cork farmers protest outside meat plant

'Farmers can't take anymore': Cork farmers protest outside meat plant
Farmers and gardaí discuss the impasse at the Beef Plan movement protest at ABP Bandon. Picture: Denis Boyle

Farmers today blocked the entrance to the APB Meat Plant in Bandon, West Cork to highlight their frustration with dropping meat prices.

The current price of beef is €3.45 per kilo. Members of the Beef Movement Plan claim that there is a huge disparity between what is paid at the counter for beef and what the farmer receives.

Members of the Movement started their protest three days ago outside the plant on the Macroom Road.

They are maintaining a 24-hour presence outside the factory.

Today, they asked farmers who were attempting to enter the meat plant with animals not to go in.

Gardaí were at the scene amid complaints about traffic delays as trucks queued up on the road in to the factory.

Helen O'Sullivan, spokesperson for the Beef Plan Movement, told the Patricia Messinger show on C103FM that they had no choice but to picket.

"There is a lot of angry farmers. We have only had four hours sleep since Sunday.

"Farmers can't take anymore. We are getting hit after hit and its not good enough.

"People are being offered €4 per kg today to entice them to bring in their cattle.

"Unfortunately it worked. Some farmers cannot see the wood from the trees here.

"We have a lot more things to be doing then being here 24/7. A lot of farmers turned away when they saw what was happening."

Michael Collins, Independent TD, has been attending the protest outside the factory.

He says it is a peaceful protest from beef farmers who are on the verge of collapse.

"We are trying to get the message across that beef farmers are on their knees.

"Each beef farmers provides €30,000 ( a year) to the local community and they are going out of business. Most beef farmers are earning €4 an hour.

"Nobody should be expected to live on that. This is an incredible situation."

Gardaí confirmed that they were at the scene to make sure of traffic flow and to prevent a breach of the peace.

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