Upwards of €2.25m worth of finished beef is being “illegally refused exit from the Dawn Meats plant in Charleville by 10 non-beef farmers engaged in illegal blockades”, according to the company.
Management at the Dawn Meats plant has said they sought to “engage and reason with the last of the illegal blockaders at the plant but to no avail”, following Sunday's talks.
The facility — which is now in "shutdown mode" — employs over 300 staff and exports beef to over 20 countries.
'An act of national sabotage'
“It hasn’t slaughtered in over 2 weeks, putting jobs, markets and ultimately farmer incomes in real jeopardy. If deliveries aren’t made this weekend, up to 14 premium international customers across Europe may be permanently lost to Irish beef.”
Commenting a Dawn Meats spokesperson said: “Continuing illegal blockades are an act of national sabotage and an afront to the very many genuine farmers seeking to make ends meet at a critically challenging time for the Irish beef industry.”
“International beef customers are completely frustrated that for a second week-in-a-row they will receive no Irish product and have had to source South American beef to meet their requirements.”
“The criminal actions of a small group of non-beef farmers are effectively directing international customers to South American beef as a permanent alternative to Irish beef. This would be a disaster for the area and for beef farmers.” the statement concluded.