The IFA has written to the Competition Authority seeking an urgent meeting, to clarify the authority's position on cattle prices being discussed at beef talks.

Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy says the Beef Plan movement were advised that they would have to accept a pre-condition that prices could not be discussed, before entering into the recent talks.

Those talks ended last week with a deal, which has since been rejected by the Beef Plan movement, and unofficial farmer protests are underway at several meat plants across the country in an effort to ensure better cattle prices.

The IFA President says it's unclear why such a pre-condition applied, and he's looking for an explanation from the Competition Authority before re-entering any talks.

Mr Healy believes that talks being held, without price being on the table, is a waste of time and makes a mockery of beef farmers....

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