A Cork dairy farmer, and former supplier of Dairygold Ned McCarthy, is staging a sit-in in the co-op's boardroom and is refusing to leave until he is paid the value of his shares.

Dairygold invited a small number of former milk suppliers to meetings with the Dairygold Board to discuss their continuing membership of the co-op, in light of them having transferred their milk production during the past year away from Dairygold to supply a neighbouring co-op in recent days.

According to Dairygold, the meetings were arranged to provide an opportunity for the individuals to discuss their milk transfer and related considerations, in accordance with the Society’s Rulebook, ahead of a decision to be taken by the Board on their continuing membership.

McCarthy met with the board yesterday (Thursday) and refused to leave the boardroom when his meeting broke down without agreement and the board members left the room. However, he had came equipped to the meeting, with a sleeping bag, pillow and supplies.

Speaking from the boardroom, McCarthy said he is owed for shares, revolving fund and bonuses which totals approximately €23,000.

Dairygold says it has offered to return the former member’s shareholding value in the Society on a phased basis over five annual payments of 20% of the shareholding value. Repayments will begin in the fifth year following the conclusion of Society membership and concluding in year nine.

It also said that while McCarthy continues his protest he will be afforded every appropriate courtesy, refreshment and assistance.