Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called for the Dáil to return this week to deal with the spiraling beef crisis.
Deptuty Tóibín stated:
I have stood with farmers outside 5 beef factories over the weekend, 1 in each of Cavan, Meath and Galway and outside 2 factories in Roscommon. It is clear that the farmers campaign for fair prices is intensifying. Hundreds of farmers are protesting 24 hours a day outside factories around the country and are willing to see this protest through to the bitter end. Their resolve is 100%.
Many are fighting for their family, livelihoods and ability to survive. This is borne out by the facts. Of the 130,000 farmers in the state only 1/3 are making enough from the farm to support their families. Another 1/3 are surviving because the farmer is also working off the farm to supplement the family income. A full third of farmers are simply not earning enough to live at all. These farmers are being pushed into poverty, debt and off the land.
In many parts of the country if you take farming out of the economy there is nothing else left. People talk about 2020 vision, but Fine Gael seem only to have M50 vision. They cannot see beyond the M50. Services and business are closing down wholesale throughout rural Ireland while the capital is overheating.
Two Irelands exist in another manner. Larry Goodman made €170m in profit last year. His income was taxed in Luxembourg and he paid almost no tax. Yet we have farmers on the poverty line that who are expected to sell their beef to his companies at below cost price. This inequality is blindingly obvious and is an outcome of an unfair and dysfunctional market presided over by Fin Gael and their Fianna Fáil partners.
It is incredible that the Dáil will remain on holidays for another 2 weeks in the teeth of the beef and Brexit crises. It is ironic that one of the last times the Dáil was recalled was to protect Larry Goodman’s own companies from economic disaster. The Dáil must be reconvened, Minister Michael Creed must resolve this crisis. Confidence in the Minister is fast disappearing.