UNDER PRESSURE FARMERS FLEX THEIR MUSCLES
The winter of discontent starts here. Perhaps. With the prospect of another slash and burn budget looming the one time social partners have turned all sour and cranky.
In fairness to the farmers who took part in last Monday’s self-styled ‘tractorcade’ they were in good form with the mood best described as quietly determined. Many of the aforementioned social partners will have to pour over the manuals in their bid to brush up on protesting techniques but not IFA members.
These boys (and girls) have all the moves and possessing a permanent office in Brussels allows them pick the brains of their frequently unruly European colleagues.
Storming meetings, dumping food, allowing mountain sheep loiter in the foyers of plush government departments, marches, sleep ins, occupations and slow convoys are all part of their repertoire. A tightrope walk at the best of times, it’s vital industrial action is not so severe that it alienates the masses.
Monday morning’s muscle flexing exercise got the balance just right with the bulk of the public forming the view it was high time the man in the street was heard. With no general election to vent their anger at the orgy of excess and financial debauchery that’s only now coming to light, it seems certain this is only the start of street protests. IFA’s North Cork supermo, Sean O’Leary, who led the tractorcade in Fermoy, said the anger of farmers was completely understandable.
“The dire economic situation was compounded by an increasingly desperate Government who seemed not to understand what was happening on the ground,” he commented.
The Fermoy tractorcade started in the Circus Field, adjacent to the car boot sale site. It commenced at 11.45 and went over the bridge, down O’Neill Crowley Quay, up Patrick Street, on to MacCurtain Street and finished on Cork Road - it was facilitated by the gardai who did a very efficient job.
Thursday 15th October 6:26pm