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Ireland Hundreds of farmers roll tractors into Dublin city centre for protest over 'demise of rural Ireland'

00:05  27 november  2019
00:05  27 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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a woman talking on a cell phone: Farmer Jolene Smith during a farmers' protest at Merrion Square in Dublin © Gareth Chaney/Collins Farmer Jolene Smith during a farmers' protest at Merrion Square in Dublin

Hundreds of farmers have rolled up to Dublin for a protest over beef prices and the demise of family farming. Over 100 tractors and 4x4s were driven into the capital in an effort to bring the city to a standstill. A Garda barricade put a halt to the fleet of tractors and protesters at Kildare Street as activists from across the country came to Dublin to hand the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, a letter of their demands.

One protester told supporters they’ll have their “Christmas dinner in the Shelbourne Hotel” unless the minister met with them to hear their concerns. Farmers from rural communities across the country are angry over a raft of issues, including the perceived neglect of rural Ireland. Jolene Smyth, a sheep farmer from Cavan, told the Irish Mirror: "We've come up here today to try and make a difference for our farming communities.

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"We're looking at the demise of rural Ireland everyday, businesses are closing down left, right and centre. "Farmers are the backbone of rural Ireland, our town is dead on a Monday and it only comes to life on a Tuesday when the farmers are around. "We can't get numbers to fill our schools, our football teams - we are losing them to this rat race of a city (Dublin). 

Gallery: Farmers' protest in Dublin city centre

"Until our government takes action we will see the next generation lost to the city. We need action and we need it now." Protesting farmers waited for hours at the Garda barricade on Kildare Street, which is just a few metres from the Agricultural House where Minister Creed was waiting inside. Independent TD Mattie McGrath said the protest was an action "born out of sheer frustration with the lack of progress on many issues".

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He added: "Minister Creed must wake up and realise that farmers do not have time to wait around for improved conditions or alleviation from punitive carbon tax increases. "Protesters who are leaving their farms in droves to travel to Dublin today are taking part in an action born out of sheer frustration with the lack of progress on so many issues.

"They look at state agencies like Bord Bia and Teagasc and they do not see organisations that understand the gravity of the threats facing farmers. "That is why the protesters have made the root and branch reform of these state agencies one of their demands that needs to be addressed."

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Protesting farmers threaten 'no food or drink in Dublin' for Christmas if demands aren't met after meeting with Minister .
Protesting farmers threaten 'no food or drink in Dublin' for Christmas if demands aren't met after meeting with MinisterThe protesters called on farmers throughout the country to park their tractors near Leinster House and the Shelbourne Hotel in a bid to put pressure on the minister.

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