Talks to save 70 Monaghan jobs

Mon, Apr 16, 2012, 01:00

A FINE Gael Deputy has arranged 11th-hour talks involving Enterprise Ireland and the management of the subsidiary of a British meat processing plant in Co Monaghan in a bid to prevent the loss of 70 jobs.

Cargill Meats in Castleblayney announced last week it was to shut the plant down before the end of this month with the pay-off of all its workers.

Deputy Seán Conlan of Cavan-Monaghan said yesterday that they were pursuing “every avenue” in an effort to save the plant.

The firm has already been forced to pay off 60 workers, and the remaining 10 are to go with the shut-down of the plant on April 27th

Trade, civic and community leaders in the Border town where the plant has been operating since 2002 were still hopeful yesterday that the meat business might be saved.

However, Cargill Meats, an English-based meat processing company, has cited the loss of substantial markets and export orders as the reasons for withdrawing from the Irish market.

Despite intense efforts to attract a new investor, Enterprise Ireland has stated it is so far “unable to identify any potential buyer for the plant”.

The mayor of Castleblayney, Cllr James Cunningham, said yesterday the loss of the plant would “have a huge impact on the economy of the town”.

“This is a modern and top-quality plant with the staff all fully trained, so a takeover would represent a huge human resource advantage for any prospective new tenant.”

Apart from the 11th-hour talks with Enterprise Ireland, Mr Conlan revealed he was also arranging urgent talks with the Minister for Jobs and Enterprise, Richard Bruton, to ensure everything possible was done to prevent the loss of the jobs.