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Brexit crisis: ‘Beef farmers are on their knees already’

Case Study 1

Edmund Graham
Edmund Graham

By Louise Hogan

Edmund Graham, a beef farmer on the southern side of the border, is already counting the economic impact of Brexit.

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“With beef farmers you might say Brexit has happened already with the cuts in beef prices,” says the father-of-three who is raising his family just a mile from Monaghan town.

“Beef farmers are already on their knees and can’t bear any further blows.”

Edmund, who has been farming for 40 years, questions who is going to bear the costs of the potential tariffs.

“If it is pushed back on the primary producer then it is curtains for us all.” He also feels it may lead to a rise of smuggling.

With 500 cattle aged up to two years, Edmund has been taking cuts of up to €200 (£171) a head since November.

Edmund, who is the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) beef chair, transports animals for slaughter to Foyle Meats in Donegal via Northern Ireland.

“Would I be able to get my produce up through Northern Ireland to go to the factories?” he questions.

Otherwise, it means an extra three hours to drive the lorry on main roads via Sligo.

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