Minister fears retaliation in France and Spain for Dingle pier protest

Minister fears retaliation in France and Spain for Dingle pier protest
Fishermen block Spanish and French boats docking at Dingle pier. Picture: Dominick Walsh.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Michael Creed has said he hopes there will not be reciprocal action in France and Spain to Irish exports as a result of protests in Dingle that prevented French and Spanish fishing crews coming ashore.

“We have fishermen on the high seas, their destinations are markets in France, Spain and the UK, what sort of experience will they face?” he asked when speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One.

“I hope it won’t happen again.”

The Minister also said he had been in contact with the Irish meat industry in a bid to ensure that the food supply chain will remain intact.

He said he was confident that the industry would take all the necessary steps to ensure correct social distancing in the work place.

However, he warned that the recent increase in demand from the retail sector for beef products would not compensate farmers for the very significant loss on the food service and manufacturing side.

“We will be looking to the EU for supports, not just for the beef sector, but also for the dairy sector.”

His department is looking at ways to utilise alternative platforms to facilitate the sale of livestock since marts have closed.

Such measures are a priority now and he said he was hopeful that such alternatives would be in place by the end of this week.

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