“Devastating news has come in overnight that the Board of Arrabawn Co-Op has voted to close its liquid milk plant in Kilconnell with the loss of up to 140 local jobs in rural East Galway,” says Denis Naughten TD.
“This announcement is a huge blow to the staff employed both directly and indirectly, their families, particularly at a time of such economic uncertainty, as well as a vast part of the rural economy of East Galway.”
“This is also a significant blow to local liquid milk suppliers who have invested significantly in their dairy farms to ensure that the Kilconnell plant was provided with milk supplies 365 days per year”.
“Over recent years there has been significant investment in the plant which handles the liquid milk operations for Arrabawn Dairies who supply own brand milk to many retailers throughout the Country and the loss of this competitor will also have a longer-term impact on consumer milk prices.”
“Following a meeting with local Councillors Tim Broderick and Evelyn Parsons yesterday on the threat to the Kilconnell plant, I have sought a meeting with Minister Charlie McConalogue and we now hope to explore all possible options to retain processing capacity and employment in the village of Kilconnell.”
“The loss of such a large number of jobs in a rural area will have an impact in terms of scale to the loss of thousands of jobs in Galway City and it is now imperative that this is now reflected in the approach by the Government to this decision.”
“It is imperative not only that all possible steps are taken to bring replacement jobs to Kilconnell, but we also need to see the Tánaiste and IDA bring new investment to the underdeveloped IDA park at Creagh in Ballinasloe.”
“There is something fundamentally wrong when we have companies in Athlone and Galway talking of the need for additional capacity while we have over 50 acres of State land lying idle just a short journey over the road in Ballinasloe,” said Denis Naughten.