News & Media

New Agriculture Minister needed after outbreaks at ABP plants

26 August 2020

Statement by Seán Sherlock TD
Parliamentary Party Chair and Spokesperson on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands; Agriculture and the Marine
  • Essential to restore confidence to farming communities

With 22 cases of Covid-19 confirmed at an ABP meat plant in Cahir, and further cases at a plant in Clones, Labour spokepserson on Agriculture and the Marine, Seán Sherlock said it was essential that the Dáil be recalled this week and a new Minister appointed.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“Since the resignation of Dara Calleary last Friday the Labour Party has called for the quick appointment of a new Minister for Agriculture and the Marine by having the Dáil return this week. A new Minister is needed to restore confidence to farming communities.

“The confirmation of further cases at the ABP meat factory in Cahir confirms our view. ABP have confirmed that 22 people there tested positive inclusive of nine who had tested positive up to last Thursday. This is following the screening of 460 staff there. There is a further 16 cases who were close contacts.

“Yesterday two cases were also confirmed at the ABP plant in Clones, and a further four cases at Rosderra Irish Meats in Clara, Offaly.

It is clear that there are issues that need to be addressed in the industry, and it illustrates clearly why we need a Minister in place.

“The country no longer has a standalone Minister for Agriculture and the issues surrounding the work practices in meat processing plants are of concern to the entire nation, not to mention the very real risk of a crash out Brexit still looming. The Taoiseach has multiple issues to address, and a new Minister is needed."