Irish job losses

An Irish meat company is to sell its processing facility, with the loss of up to 80 jobs because of a legal dispute with insurers following a devastating fire in 2004.

Sean Duffy Exports, based in County Galway, said it was "dramatically impacted" by the fire that destroyed its boning facility. Rebuilding has been forced to stop because of a legal dispute with insurers; since the fire, output and turnover never recovered.

The dispute is the subject of High Court proceedings.

The company has now entered into negotiations with North South Pig Company, with a view to selling the processing facility. The company employs 80 people on its five-acre site, dedicated to the slaughter and processing of cattle and pigs. All 80 jobs are at risk.

Sean Duffy, managing director, said: "The current legal proceedings and the ramifications of not being in a position to operate out of our boning facility left us with no choice but to consider the future options of the company.

"It is with absolute sadness and regret that the company has been forced into this position. We believe it to be in the best interests of all our stakeholders to enter into negotiations to sell the plant. Putting legal proceedings aside, our current priority and concerns are with our employees who unfortunately will be made redundant.

"As part of our negotiations, to sell the facility, we will endeavour to ensure that as many employees as possible will be re-employed."

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