Longford Councillor Paraic Brady has expressed his relief after Edgeworthstown pet food factory C&D agreed to strike out injunctions against him and another farmer.
The company has today confirmed that following discussions with the Justice Minister in recent weeks over the security of its employees, the company is dropping is legal actions against Councillor Brady and Colm Leonard.
C&D Petfoods had brought the action against them after its facility in Edgeworthstown was blockaded in September during the dispute over beef prices.
The disruption led to the company temporarily laying off 187 of its employees.
The Beef Plan Movement had said it would not attend any meetings of the Beef Market Taskforce until the two injunctions were lifted.
Paraic Brady spoke to MaryClaire Greally on today’s Let’s Talk and expressed his relief at the decision of the company, “Lookit, I thought it was going to be another Black Friday. I’m happy. I’m emotionally glad and I’m emotionally drained that this has finally come to an end.”
Councillor Brady confirmed that he only heard the news just before 1pm, and his phone then “started to hop“.
He continued, ” I’m over the moon, I spoke to Colm a short time ago and to say that he is over the moon too is something extra.I want to thank all the people that did stand in the protest and the farmers and the people from all over Ireland who went to Dublin. I’m glad to say common sense and goodwill haves prevailed and now that the taskforce can get up and running, now it can represent the true meaning of farmers and really fight for; it’s not about Paraic Brady and Colm Leonard, it’s about rural Ireland, things we need to survive.”
The Fine Gael Councillor was also asked for his thoughts on the support shown to him and Mr Leonard, as well as the alleged split in some farming organizations over the beef protests:
“Myself and Colm were sort of left out on a limb and farming organisations said they weren’t leaving anyone behind – it was all or none, they weren’t going to leave any soldier behind in the war. And basically that’s what they done and thankfully we had the power behind us and people and rural communities and there is strength in numbers as you know.”
“People realised there is more to Ireland than what is inside the M50 that we are out there and we fight for what we believe in and maybe we don’t always stand up for what we should and really stand up and fight back.”
“We need to survive and we need to get fair standard for living. I’m so so glad it’s over and I’m glad we don’t have to go back to Dublin and another protest.”
“I’m calling on the taskforce to reconvene in the next five to seven days and it needs to start. this has been delayed long enough and we have been blamed for why it cannot take place.”
“I would also like to thank C&D management and owners for seeing common sense here and to realise they could not go ahead with this, having this hanging over two farmers’ heads. We need to move on, it’s over.”
You can hear the full interview here:
Colm Leonard also spoke to Kevin McGillicuddy this afternoon to give his reaction to the lifting of the injunctions:
“The farmers of Ireland are fantastic, the way they stood behind us. They promised they would never leave us out on our own. They looked after us, they made sure that me and Paraic Brady got our injunctions lifted and now they are lifted we all move on.”
Colm admitted that the entire three-month legal battle had been tough on him and his family,
“It’s not something you want hanging over your head, injunctions and legal costing but we farmers are made of tough stuff and we get on with things you know.
Colm also expressed confusion over comments made by minister Michael Creed this week concerning C&D and alleged threats made against staff at the Edgeworthstown factory:
“…Not sure where Minister Creed has got them allegations from and maybe he will explain it in some detail at some stage. But as I said to a few people, I have nothing to hide, I never threatened anyone and it didn’t worry me to be honest.
You can hear Colm’s interview in full here