5 April 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard


CASTLEBLAYNEY is facing a huge economic blow with the loss of over seventy jobs at the Cargill Ireland Limited meat processing plant in the Mid-Monaghan town.
Since 2002, Cargill Ireland Ltd., has leased the plant from Castleblayney Community Enterprise, which erected the premises in 1999 to help create jobs and boost the town’s then flagging economy.
However, the English-based meat processing company has cited the loss of substantial markets, and orders, as their reasons for now exiting the Irish market with the loss of over 70 jobs.
Cargill informed Enterprise Ireland of their difficulties in November 2011 and requested them to help source a suitable buyer which would save the plant .
But Enterprise Ireland appears to have been unable to identify any buyer for the plant, and Cargill has now stated, through their executive, that although some new marketing opportunities were found, regrettably these have not provided sufficient production volumes and continued operations on the site are no longer economically viable, and they have “ no option but to cease production at the premises”.
It emerged this week that sixty employees were already laid off, over the past number of weeks and the remainder are to go, when the plant finally closes on the 27th April.
The plant closure will have a very severe negative economic effect on the border town, and have a dire knock-on effect, as a number of other local business services will be indirectly affected. Moreover, the job losses will have a very traumatic effect for the employees, many who have been employed there from the arrival of Cargill to Ireland in 2002 and others who were employed by the previous tenancy.
Mr Padraig Watters spokesperson for Castleblayney Community Enterprise Ltd., has described the closure “as a very black day for Castleblayney” and is calling on all organisations and government agencies who have a remit for support to ‘step forward’ so that every effort can be made to source a new tenant for the processing plant in order that as many employees as possible can be reinstated.
The plant is a modern and top quality high care facility and the staff are fully trained from production and engineering staff to human resource and logistics and all of this would represent a major human resource capital to any prospective new tenant.
Mr. Watters added that while the offices of local Fine Gael Dail deputy Sean Conlon TD had afforded them an opportunity to meet with Enterprise Ireland there was now a greater sense of urgency and …

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