The head of Meat Industry Ireland has not ruled out further court injunctions against protestors at meat processing plants.
Cormac Healy urged those involved to “step back” so that talks could resume.
Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One that the protests were not helpful 52 days away from Brexit.
“We need to be showing the UK that we are very much part of their supply chain, not to be throwing a wobbly.”
Mr Healy also expressed concern that it was difficult to “figure out” who represented the protestors at beef processing plants.
A number of groups have stepped forward to say they represented the protestors, he said, but when they were asked to “take them off the gates” they failed to do so.
The meat industry was now faced with the prospect of the majority of processing plants closing and staff being laid off.
“The vast majority of meat processing has stopped. This is having a huge impact on farmers, hauliers and in the market place.”
Mr Healy claimed that the meat industry had agreed to the Minister for Agriculture’s request to sit down to talks, it was only fair that the other side agree to do likewise.
When asked about the injunctions taken by the industry against protestors at some of the plants, he said that he had no problem with peaceful protest, but this was an illegal blockade.
Some of the injunctions had been struck out, but others were deferred and it was now a matter for the individual companies to decide if they wished to proceed with injunctions against protestors.