IMPACT deplores assaults on staff in IFA protest

26th October 2011

IMPACT called on the Irish Farmers’ Association to instruct any of its members who were involved in assaults on two Department of Agriculture staff earlier this month to contact the Gardai. The assaults, which happened during an IFA protest in Wexford, resulted in one IMPACT member being treated in A&E for his injuries and another receiving first aid after receiving punches to the head. Both the IMPACT members made statements to the Gardai.

The IFA told journalists it would meet IMPACT to discuss the matter, but the union was not subsequently contacted by the farmers’ body.

IMPACT appeared on local media to deplore the violence on low paid security staff, and called on the IFA to instruct any of its members who were involved to contact the Gardai immediately.

IMPACT national secretary Eamonn Donnelly said: “This is a free society where people are entitled to protest peacefully. But they are not entitled to assault staff who are simply going about their work. These two men, who are among the lowest paid in the public service and whose incomes have been slashed in the last two years, understand what hardship is about. But they don’t understand why farmers feel entitled to physically assault them. I call on the IFA to condemn this act and to instruct any of its members involved in the assault to contact the Gardai.”

The IFA claimed the protest was over delays in subsidy payments to farmers.