A Donegal company which normally produces packaging for food companies is now making up to one million face shields a day in the fight against coronavirus.
RAP (Rapid Action Packaging), which is based in Gaoth Dobhair, has switched production of its machines to help the fight against the spread of the virus.
The company normally supplies packaging for hundreds of companies around the world, including Starbucks, McDonald's, British Airways, KFC, Asda and Sainsbury's. Its almost 200 staff produce close to 15 million food packaging items each week.
However, the spread of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, meant orders dropped by up to 60 per cent, leaving the company facing a temporary crisis.
Production manager John McDermott and his staff started to work to produce a face shield that the company hopes to supply to the HSE and other government and private bodies around the world.
“We’re very proud that we have the facilities here and the staff to produce this product. Never before have I had staff ask me if they could take products home with them for their family.
“Production has started fully now on the face shields and we can produce up to one million of them a day.
“We have managed to make the shield very competitively for around 14 cent a unit because we have the materials and we have access to the machinery here and of course, the trained staff.
“We just have to hope that the demand for the products is there now,” he said.
Minister for Education Joe McHugh paid tribute to the company and its workers.
He said: “This is incredible work and I want to pay tribute today to John McDermott and every member of his team in RAP in Gaoth Dobhair for their amazing innovation.
“RAP has switched its production and designed these masks to European standards and can produce one million shields per day and more if needed.”