An "ongoing illegal blockade" of the Dawn Meats facility in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo is continuing to prevent local sheep farmers from being able to sell their animals, according to a spokesperson.
"The protestors, who do not supply beef to the factory, are preventing vehicles from delivering the sheep of fellow farmers through the factory gates."
"The blockade remains in place, despite the conclusion of a deal to address the crisis in the beef industry, agreed to by all of the major farmer organisations and representatives of the processing industry."
"This deal required that all illegal blockades across the country cease immediately."
The spokesperson highlighted that this is "causing hardship to West of Ireland sheep farmers, who instead of selling their factory ready lambs, are instead being subjected to intimidation and abuse."
These animals are now going to be out of market specification on weight and fat score when sold, according to Dawn Meats.
"Customers are being lost for Irish sheepmeat as there has been no kill for two weeks; they are being forced to purchase elsewhere in Europe."
Lay-off notices to over 500 staff
A spokesperson for Dawn Meats said: “It is disappointing that the illegal blockaders are preventing West of Ireland sheep farmers from being able to sell their lambs, in spite of agreement being reached between all parties over the weekend."
"The actions of farmers blocking the gates are directly impacting on the livelihoods of their fellow farmers, and the hundreds of employees of the plant, who have been forced out of work by the illegal blockades."
"Sheep farmers and staff are the innocent victims here, and instead of being subject to intimidation and abuse they should be allowed to deliver their animals.”
Dawn Meats has been forced to issue temporary lay-off notices to over 500 staff given that the "illegal blockades have shut down production".