DONEGAL SENATOR BRIAN Ó Domhnaill has described Largo Food’s decision to exit Gaoth Dobhair (Gweedore) as a “devastating blow”.
He said today is a “black day” for the county’s Gaeltacht area.
The company announced that it would close its plant today, resulting in the loss of 140 jobs.
Production of products, which include Hunky Dorys and Tayto crisps, will transfer to the firm’s other operations in Meath by August. The Ashbourne facility employs 360 people.
Redundancies will commence from May.
“Many staff have worked there since the company first opened 18 years ago and many have other family members who also work there,” added Ó Domhnaill. “They are now wondering what they will do after the summer.”
CEO Maurice Hickey told Highland Radio that the decision was taken because of the high costs of manufacturing in Donegal. He hopes that 70 of the employees offered full-time positions in Ashbourne will transfer to Meath.
If they don’t redundancy arrangements will be made with discussions due to take place with staff and unions over the next month.
Commenting on support the company received from State agency, Údarás, Hickey said he believes Largo Foods will honour its obligations.
He noted that discussions have been ongoing with the agency.