27 October 1998
Mass farm protest expected in Dublin

By FWi staff

MORE than 20,000 farmers are expected to march through the centre of Dublin tomorrow (Wednesday) in one of the largest demonstrations staged in the city for years.

The protest is organised by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and supported by rural organisations across Ireland.

The demonstration will be the second march by farmers through Dublin in recent months, highlighting the seriousness of the crisis now afflicting all sectors of the countrys farming industry.

“Farmers are angry, frustrated and desperate,” said Raymond OMalley, IFA livestock spokesman. “Its the worst crisis for more than 25 years.”

The farmers want a £60 million emergency aid package from Irish Government to offset the plight of families close to the poverty line.

But the Government has so far refused to extend its income support scheme to farmers on grounds of cost, arguing that to do so would make all self-employed people eligible.

The farmers also want emergency cash aid through increased cattle and sheep headage payments and a suspension of the meat plant levy on pigs.