Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has called on farmers to stick together in an effort to secure a more sustainable income moving forward, and to reject the “sweetheart deals” being offered by some factories.
Having been in attendance at a number of the protests in recent days, the Roscommon-Galway TD said: “I have called to a number of places where members and supporters of the Beef Plan Movement have been holding peaceful protests.
“It has been unbelievable to see vehicles, especially lorries, driving through the picket lines with little or no regard for the people holding the peaceful protest.
“I think it is imperative that the likes of the Road Haulage Association would encourage those people with artics, rigids and trailers to respect people who are taking part in a peaceful protest if they are members of their association”.
He added: “It would be important for the association to come out and advocate for respect to be shown by drivers to all protestors that are abiding by the law and wearing high visibility jackets.
“It has also been heartening to see instances where farmers have arrived with their produce and have turned around in support of the movement. This is a difficult time for all farmers, throughout the length and breadth of the country”.
Deputy Fitzmaurice said “special deals” are being offered to those who pass the picket line, but he urged farmers to stick together.
“What every farmer in rural Ireland must realise is that it is not sustainable to continue taking the price that is there at the moment.
“You may be a winner today for taking a sweetheart deal because you brought sheep or cattle to the factory, but down the road you will get the same treatment as everyone else,” he concluded.