Cowen labels governement 'infuriating' after treatment of beef motions
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has said the Government needs to treat opposition motions seriously in Dáil Éireann.
Deputy Cowen was commenting during a Fianna Fáil private members motion on the beef crisis and said it was infuriating that in March of last year Fianna Fáil brought forward a motion that included much of what was agreed during the beef talks last weekend.
He said: “Like many of our motions before it and after it, last years’ motion was completely ignored by Government. The proposals we outlined then would have gone some way to helping farmers who are on their knees now.
“As we’ve seen so many times before, this is a reactive Government and not a proactive one. Their heads stay buried in the sand until they are forced to do something by the mobilisation of people taking drastic action.
“This is what led to the situation we’re in now where farmers, at risk of losing their livelihoods, have had no other option than to picket meat factories. Many factory workers have been made temporarily redundant while others might lose their jobs altogether.
“This is not a situation anyone wants to be in. To avoid it getting any worse the Minister must ensure the task force that has been established will follow through, that the base price issue will be dealt with, that the other issues, including the 30-month rule, the four movements and lairage, will be addressed conclusively so that farming families Offaly and beyond will have a future,” he concluded.