Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said it is “highly regrettable” that individual farmers have been named in High Court injunctions.
Deputy Fitzmaurice was reacting to the news on Tuesday that the High Court granted temporary injunctions restraining a number of named protesters from continuing to picket outside factory gates.
“It is disappointing that the factories have turned towards taking out personal injunctions against individual farmers – the producers of beef. It is like David versus Goliath or the elephant versus the mouse.
“It’s a sad day when the producers of beef in this country are being threatened with legal action by processors.
“Farmers deserve to receive a fair and sustainable price for their produce. Frustration around price is what has driven them to protesting at factory gates,” he said.
The Independent TD said that it was time to find a solution to the ongoing dispute.
“The reality is that we need to find solutions to this issue. I have called for the chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pat Deering, to arrange a meeting of the committee as soon as possible.
“Representatives from the retailers, as well as Meat Industry Ireland personnel, need to be brought in to bring some transparency to the supply chain.
“We have been told that price couldn’t be spoken about in the previous crunch talks, but within the realm of the committee members could ask the difficult questions,” he said.
Deputy Fitzmaurice added that he was pleased by the support from fellow public representatives.
“I am happy that Willie Penrose and Rose Conway Walsh have already come back in support of this call, with others expected to follow suit.
“As public representatives we need to be proactive in finding practical solutions to the problems facing the beef sector at the moment,” Deputy Fitzmaurice concluded.