SHOCK has been expressed following confirmation today that 140 jobs are to be lost in Gweedore as a result of the closure of the Largo Foods factory there.
The firm, which employs 110 people on a full-time basis as well as 30 part-time, confirmed that they are to transfer all manufacturing to their headquarters in Ashbourne, County Meath.
The company will offer 70 employees the opportunity to transfer to full-time jobs in Ashbourne.
A spokesperson for Údarás na Gaeltachta said they were “very disappointed” at the announcement .
“Largo Foods has made this decision based on a strategic review by the company of its manufacturing sites in Ireland and in the UK which focused on the need to consolidate its operations, reduces its overall costs, and to allow it to operate sustainably in a very competitive snack-food market,” the spokesperson said.
Currently, 85 per cent of the products produced in Gaoth Dobhair are exported to the UK and further afield.
Competition in the snack-based market has intensified in the last decade, and in past five years the company has been continuously attempting to develop and introduce new high value-added products to Gaoth Dobhair to sustain its operations there, but to limited success.
“Údarás na Gaeltachta has supported and worked closely with Largo Foods group companies in the last 18 years since they were established in Gaoth Dobhair. We very much regret the implications that this proposal will have for Largo Foods’ employees in Gaoth Dobhair.
“An tÚdarás will prioritise its efforts and put in place a strategic marketing drive in a bid to attract new investment and employment opportunities to the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park,” the spokesperson concluded.
Local Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty described it as a “black Friday” for the area.