US company to close Ballinasloe plant with loss of 115 jobs

Dispenser maker Aptar says it will shut Co Galway facility in December

A US manufacturer of pumps and dispenser systems for beauty and personal care products has confirmed is to close its facility in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, with the loss of 115 jobs.

Aptar said it was ceasing production at the plant in December following a review of its Irish operations.

The company said its industrial equipment and machinery would be transferred to other facilities around the world between September and November.

Aptar, which has headquarters in Illinois in the United States, employs over 14,000 staff across its operations in 18 countries.

Although employee representatives at the plant in the IDA business park in Ballinasloe had put forward alternatives to the plant’s closure, Aptar said they did not meet the company’s criteria for making the necessary changes to address changing market conditions and competitive challenges.

In a statement, the company said: “Aptar management do not take these decisions lightly and will uphold our core values and treat all employees with dignity and respect as we support them through this difficult change.”

The company, which has operated in Ballinasloe for over 20 years, said it would meet employee representatives to assist staff with social measures including extended healthcare insurance and retraining and outplacement support.

“We are committed to giving employees all the possible means to help them find new employment,” it added.

News of the closure was not unexpected as Aptar had signalled in the summer it intended implementing cost-saving measures across its global operations with a particular focus on its manufacturing facilities.

The Co Galway factory produces pumps and dispenser systems for perfume sprays and other beauty products.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has also been making hand sanitisers.

The plant had normally operated on a 24/7 basis but had scaled back its output significantly over the past few months

Sinn Féin TD for Roscommon-Galway Claire Kerrane said news of the closure was “hugely disappointing”.

Ms Kerrane said she was calling on Tánaiste and Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment, Leo Varadkar, to provide information on the Government’s plans for job creation in the town.