The president of the Irish Farmers Association, John Dillon, was one of around 250 farmers protesting outside Loughan House open prison in Co Cavan this afternoon in support of a Sligo farmer who is serving a sentence there.

Andy McSharry from Gleniff was given a two-week jail sentence for refusing to pay a €300 fine imposed last June.

He had been accused of using threatening and abusive behaviour towards two hill-walkers on his land.

The farmers said that they were protesting on a principle: the rights of farmers over their private property.