Workers at the Kepak meat factory near Ennis have been temporarily laid off, as farmers continue to stage their protest over plummeting beef prices.
Up to 14 plants around the country are now said to have closed as thousands of farmers nationwide take to the picket lines, calling for livestock hauliers and vets not to enter the factories.
It’s now almost a fortnight since the Beef Plan Group protests at meat factories around the country were first mounted and in that time, the numbers have steadily grown.
And while the Beef Plan movement have now stepped away from the site near Ennis, farmers are continuing to mount a continuous picket.
Around 70 were there last night.
14 meat factories are now closed and many workers temporarily laid off, including at Drumquin.
This has led to calls from the Agriculture Minister for all sides to hold talks, but this offer was rebuffed by the Beef Plan movement, as it was conditional on the protests being called off.
Fine Gael Junior Minister Pat Breen says there needs to be dialogue.
Despite the withdrawal of the Beef Plan Movement in Ennis, around 80 farmers remained on in the rain last night and while that number has dropped to around 40 today, it’s expected that around 100 farmers will be there come evening time.
Ennistymon-area Fianna Fáil Councillor Shane Talty was among those lending his support last night.
He is urging farmers in Clare to keep going until their demands are answered.