Tractors, farmers and protests

 

Sir, – While everyone has the right to protest, the protest in Dublin by farmers is hard to understand.

A very loose alliance of farmers seem to have a number of gripes, their main one being that the price they are getting for their beef is too low. But what does protesting in Dublin achieve?

As their beef is sold to private companies and the State cannot have any say in these transactions, why close down parts of Dublin?

Disrupting the lives of people in the city is unwarranted and unjustifiable. We all have loads of gripes, many of them serious, but can anyone go into a city centre and cause havoc for days at a time? Not a chance.

This is typical of what farmers have been doing for decades. They have had many aggressive protests in or around the Dáil and governments have generally caved in to them. This time the Government cannot.

Ultimately, these farmers need to be told by An Garda Síochána that enough is enough and that in future only minimal disruption will be tolerated. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN CULLEN,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – I hope the “Independent Farmers” are proud of themselves. We had to make a time-consuming detour to visit a seriously ill child in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Later, my wife got caught up in the virtually unannounced tractor protest at Dublin Port. Gardaí diverted all traffic back north via the Port Tunnel, where she had the frightening experience of being closely tailgated by a huge articulated truck all the way through the tunnel before being diverted via the M50 to Leopardstown, adding a considerable amount of time and distance to her journey home. Have those protesting people no shame?

I can imagine their whines of protest if, say, the National Ploughing Championship were blockaded.

Such appalling behaviour will be long remembered by urban dwellers who were once largely sympathetic to the farming community. – Yours, etc,

PATRICK JUDGE,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – As a resident of Dublin suburbia, in Dublin, I had a certain sympathy for the farmers. Not anymore. We did nothing to undermine them, except to consume their wonderful product, and for our support, they disrupt our difficult homeward journeys on an entirely under-resourced bit of infrastructure, the M50. Thanks.

If they think they have won friends and support, they can think again. What support they might have had is now gone.

They don’t need a PR adviser. They need to learn the application of common sense. – Yours, etc,

BA TAPLEY,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Following the chaos imposed on commuters by farmers over the last two days, I will be boycotting the purchase of Irish beef for the next month.

I urge fellow commuters to do similarly on the basis that the farmers’ actions were reckless as they imposed a cost in time or money, or both, on many of us.

I respectfully suggest to these farmers that a strategy of discommoding the end users of their product is not the wisest one. – Yours, etc,

A PRENDIVILLE,

Castleknock,

Dublin 15.

Sir, – The farmers are definitely a law unto themselves! – Yours, etc,

TADHG McCARTHY,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The recent blockade of the city centre and deliberate go-slow of commuters on the M50 by the beef farmers has been a great success in focusing minds.

Veganuary it is, so! – Yours, etc,

RORY J WHELAN,

Drogheda,

Co Louth.