[Sinn Fein]

20th October 2001

Minister must intervene in Tralee Beef and Lamb crisis

Sinn Fein Councillor Martin Ferris has called on the Minister of Agriculture Joe Walsh to intervene in the crisis caused by the closure of Tralee Beef and Lamb.

Cllr. Ferris said:

``I wish to express my support for, and solidarity with, the workers and farmers affected by the sudden closure of Tralee Beef and Lamb. That a so-called beef baron can disappear leaving a debt of 2.7 million behind him, not to mention an unemployed workforce of 80 people, is an absolute disgrace.

``Serious questions regarding accountability within the troubled beef sector have once again been raised. It is imperative to assist those deeply affected by this crisis and commit substantial funding to compensate the victims of this economic catastrophe.

``We need to see, as a matter of urgency, the introduction of legislation including a bond system guaranteeing protection in the event of a similar disaster in the future. I would call on the banks and other lending institutions, who were complicit in what occurred at Tralee Beef and Lamb, and with whom the farmers are rightly furious, to play their part in the resolution of this issue.''

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