Castleblayney meat factory set to close with the loss of over 70 jobs


Trade, civic, and community leaders in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, have expressed shock over the announcement that the Cargill (Ireland) Limited meat processing plant in the town is to shut.

The firm had leased the premises since 2002 from Castleblayney Community Enterprise Board, which erected the building as an “advance factory” in 1999 to help create jobs and boost the town’s then flagging economy. However, the English-based company has now cited the loss of substantial markets and orders as the reasons for withdrawing from the Irish market, leading to the loss of 70-plus jobs in the area.

It emerged yesterday that Cargill initially informed Enterprise Ireland of its difficulties in November 2011 and requested it to help source a suitable buyer that might save the plant.

But Enterprise Ireland has said it is unable to identify any buyer for the plant, and Cargill has declared 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”.

Sixty employees have already been laid off, and the remainder are to go when the plant finally closes on April 27th.

Town mayor Cllr James Cunningham said the closure “will have a very severe negative economic impact on the Border town”.