Grain farm­ers block­ade port

Septem­ber 2002

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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