Concerns have been raised for the beef sector in Ireland after the announcement that all McDonald's restaurants on both sides of the border are to close from today.
One in five hamburgers sold in McDonald's in Europe is of Irish origin.
Last Wednesday, McDonald's announced that it was closing its seating areas to prevent the spread of coronavirus and only drive-thru and takeaway services were available.
Today, the chain has gone a step further and announced that all restaurants in Ireland and the UK are to close by 7pm this evening at the latest to protect staff and customers.
McDonald's says that restaurants will reopen when it is safe to do so.
However, there are now concerns about the beef industry in Ireland due to what the Irish Farmers Association has described as a "big blow to the sector".
Tim Cullinan, President of the IFA, said that the announcement was "a huge concern".
He said: "This is a huge blow obviously for Irish beef farmers.
"McDonald's were a huge buyer of Irish beef, not just here but across Europe as well."
However, he added that farming is a front line service during this pandemic, and that they will come through the crisis.
He said: "Farming is absolutely frontline in this battle, and this is something we will all have to fight together.
"But there is one thing for sure, we will come through this, both Irish farmers and the Irish nation.
"We absolutely will come through this."
Mr Cullinan wrote to the European Commissioner for Agriculture last week outlining that the Commission needs to be ready to support the EU beef market as it was likely to be impacted by COVID-19.
Edmund Graham from The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association has joined the IFA's call for the European Commission to intervene.
He said: "We're hoping the European Union might look on us favourably and put some beef into storage.
"It would stop the build-up of beef and at the same time guarantee, maybe to a certain degree, that there would be a certain amount of beef in storage across Europe if it's needed.
"I don't think anybody can tell how we're going to be in three months.
McDonald's says that it will work with local community groups to responsibly distribute food over the coming days.
Additional reporting by Kim Buckley