Meat Industry Ireland called on to 'get down off their high horse' and return to talks

Meat Industry Ireland called on to 'get down off their high horse' and return to talks
Joe Healy

The president of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Joe Healy has called on Meat Industry Ireland to "get down off their high horse" and return to talks.

Speaking on RTÉ radio's Morning Ireland, Mr Healy said Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed "can't wash his hands out of it " in relation to the crisis in the beef industry.

"I think the Minister needs to put a lot more pressure on them. It’s sad that it has come to a situation that Meat Industry Ireland needs someone to put that hex on them and to get them back into the talks.

"They should be in the talks, they know how important it is to find a solution, you won't find a solution if you're not at the table and we called on Meat Industry Ireland to get down off their high horse and get back around the table."

Mr Healy said farmers would not be protesting were it not for the fact that they are being paid a price that is well below the cost of production.

Farmers attended the talks and they will return to the talks, he said, but there was no point in just the farmers being at the table, Meat Industry Ireland needs to be there too with proposals.

The IFA is in constant contact with farmers on the picket lines, he said. "But they tell us, unless ye have something to come back to us with, we're not leaving where we are.

"And that's why we're so anxious that Meat Industry Ireland (MII), and that the Minister, takes a bigger involvement and that particularly Meat Industry Ireland comes back to the table, gives us proposals that we can go to those farmers with.

"We have guaranteed them (MII) that if they come back to us with adequate proposals, we will go to the farmers on the picket line.

"We will talk to them, we'll talk to the representatives to try and see an end to this," he said.

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