Long traffic jams are being experienced on the Macroom road in Bandon as farmers are holding a protest outside ABP factory in Bandon in an effort to send a message to the company, and to the Government, that beef farmers are in trouble.
Similar protests are being held outside plants in Cahir and Kilkenny as farmers across the country highlight their growing frustration with plummeting meat prices.
The current price of beef is €3.50 per kilo while TD Michael Collins has stressed the price should not have dropped below €4 per kilo.
“This is a peaceful protest, beef farmers are on the verge of collapse and this is not just an issue for farmers, this is something that will affect the whole community.”
Mr Collins said that each beef farmer contributes €30,000 to the local community and for every farmer that goes out of business it is a big loss to the community.
“There are some farmers working for €4 an hours, that is not sustainable,” Mr Collins said, “Factory prices are at an all-time low and standards in Ireland are very high.”
The West Cork TD said he has asked the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to intervene and to get the factories around the table.
“There is a huge disparity between what is paid at the counter for beef and what is paid to the farmer, there is huge amount being creamed off the top by beef barons I call them.”
West Cork Superintendent Con Cadogan said there were a number of members of the force at the scene in Bandon, maintaining the peace and ensuring safety on the roads.
“The farmers have blocked the factory, they are not letting staff or cattle in. We are on scene preventing a breach of the peace and making sure the traffic flows.”
Supt Cadogan said that there were a lot of trucks parked up along the two carriageway road and at the time, there was a lot of delays.