“Young people will not stay farming. They enjoy it and they would like to do it. But they are not fools. They are all well educated and they will not stay producing beef for nothing.”

That was the message delivered by one farmer at a recent meeting in Roscommon on the beef crisis.

In a passionate speech, the farmer outlined his own situation. “My son he worked in the building industry up to two and a half years ago. He came back farming with me and we were in the process of setting up a partnership.

“He got an offer last week to go back to work with a joinery company. I can tell you, you couldn’t see for the dust out the drive.

“He knows what we made out of beef in the last two years.”

The farmer stressed that unless this industry is pulled together and made work together there will be no young people involved.

“We were listening to reports that the agricultural colleges been full. They were full because lads had nowhere else to go. The building industry is beginning to turn a bit you can see it from the amount of white vans and trailers on the roads in the morning.”

He also said that the industry needs a ‘referee’ because unless the Minister takes ownership of this industry it is going nowhere.

“The beef plants have torn up the QPS system that we had. If it is to be renegotiated ,the Minister and the Department have to be involved, or it is absolutely useless. If the Government and the Minister wants a beef industry they have to do that.”