Grain farmers blockade port
FIFTY grain farmers from Co. Wicklow were among a group of 300 grainmen countrywide who staged a protest at Drogheda port last week against the importation of cheap feed wheat from England.
The protesting grain farmers from Wicklow were led by Mr. Tom Shortt, chairman of the grain committee, and also included Fine Gael councillor Sylvester Bourke from Arklow.
Arriving at Drogheda port at 6 a.m., the farmers put a picket on the arrival of an Arklow shipping boat ‘The Arklow Sky’ loaded with 3000 tonnes of feed wheat from across the water.
Unloading the cargo of wheat was delayed for several hours and only took place after agreement was reached with the importer that the grain would be held in storage and not sold until after the harvest and prices have settled.
Cllr Bourke said that farmers are angered by the importation of cheap feed wheat at a time when so much locally grown grain is available. ‘It is contributing to collapsing grain prices in this country hitting farmer confidence,’ he complained.