All farmers and farm organisations should immediately condemn the aggressive behaviour that took place outside the Department of Agriculture on Monday morning.

This is not how farmers go about doing their business and no small group should be allowed to portray farmers in this light.

If it was the intention of those outside of the Department of Agriculture this morning to advance the interests of Irish farmers, they failed. Instead, a small number of their delegation have dragged the reputation of all farmers into the gutter.

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Argument

This is not about whether or not you agree or disagree with the legitimacy of the argument that was being put forward.

It is whether or not you agree with, as reported on national media, “the rugby-tackling and repeated kicking of individuals by farmers”.

Regardless of who an individual works for, or the extent to which you disagree with their views, such actions have no place in farming and deliver nothing for farmers.

It is easy to turn a blind eye and say nothing in the wake of such events.

But by failing to stand up and condemn these activities, farm organisations and farmers are allowing the general public accept that such actions are representative of the farming community.

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We need to use all channels possible to distance our farmers from such disgraceful behaviour

We have a short window to now show that this is not the case. We need to use all channels possible to distance our farmers from such disgraceful behaviour.

It is, of course, a chain of events that would never have happened had the ABP Food group shown any commitment to de-escalating tensions with farmers.

Instead, ABP appears intent to further inflame the situation by maintaining the injunctions taken by C&D Foods, which is wholly owned by Larry Goodman.

Seldom have we seen a business that has secured so much from the State show such disregard for a Minister and their Department.

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