Angry farmers confront Cabinet over collapsing beef prices

More than 600 descend on Cork venue where Taoiseach and Ministers arriving for a meeting.

Sligo News File.

The government today found out how bad things in rural Ireland are when more than 600 farmers hit them with a powerful protest outside the venue in Cork where the Cabinet had decided to assemble for a meeting.

Some 75,000 beef producers at the heart of the rural economy are struggling to survive as prices plummet to an impossible low.

Pleadings by the Taoiseach that the government was aware of the plight of the country’s beef farmers didn’t assuage the anger of the crowd.

The scale of the heckling showed the protestors were in no mood to be fobbed off with sugary claptrap or more empty promises; they’ve had years of that kind of thing.

‘Where’s the beef, ya vegan’ shouted one with the evident intention of the message being picked up by Varadkar, a message to which reportedly he later replied, for what it was worth, that he was ‘very much an omnivore.’

Varadkar, reports say, attributed the worsening conditions in the beef sector to Brexit, weather conditions and an oversupply of beef.

As far as known, there was no comment from the man holding the brief for rural issues, Michael Ring.

The Taoiseach insisted that the government wanted to do more for the farming sector. They also had already made a submission to the European Commission regarding what they might be able to do to provide additional income supports to the industry.

Farmers are demanding a €100m support package for the beef sector