Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Agriculture Minister to protect the future of Irish beef farmers and request market disturbance funding from the EU.

Farmers have suffered additional price losses since May this year, and some are being forced to consider giving up their farms and going out of business.

Deputy Smith said, “Over the past number of months beef prices have fallen substantially and now they are on the floor – coming in at €3.45 per KG. Farmers have been extremely vocal about the seriousness of the situation, but it appears as if the government just doesn’t want to listen. Minister Creed’s approach has been lack-lustre at best.

“The level of anger and frustration among farmers has increased dramatically – this can be seen in the resumed protests at factories across the country. Many feel they simply aren’t being listened to. The Minister needs to step in and assure beef farmers that the Irish government will request market disturbance funding from EU Commission.

“We should be looking at increasing our live exports in a bid to mitigate the supply issue. This would protect the price of weanlings and stores and ease the pressure on farmers later in the year.

“Farmers across Cavan and Monaghan are fighting on two fronts – not only has the beef price plummeted, but they are being hit with the added uncertainty of a possible no deal Brexit. These are very worrying times and farmers have become disillusioned with the lack of information and action from the government.

“While a number of issues remain to be ironed out, such as the 30-month requirement and four-movement rule, the Minister must now make a request to the Commission for market disturbance funding.

“This situation has become incredibly serious, and livelihoods are on the line. Commissioner Hogan and his European counterparts must be made aware just how serious things have become. Irish beef farmers need immediate financial support in order to save their livelihoods”.