Fintan O'Toole: Too many claims about Irish beef are pure bull

If the Irish beef industry is to fight off competition from Brazil, it has to be more credible in its claims to the moral high ground

Cattle on the outskirts of Kilkenny. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Cattle on the outskirts of Kilkenny. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Last Saturday, just as word was coming through of a deal to allow large amounts of South American beef into the EU, RTÉ was showing its Reeling in the Years archive programme for 1966.

A large chunk of it was given over to footage of that year’s huge protests by farmers, triggered by falling prices for milk and beef. The young princeling of Fianna Fáil, Charles Haughey, was under pressure as minister for agriculture. Farm leaders sat for 21 days and nights outside his departmental offices demanding a meeting.

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