Fethard and South Tipperary has been dealt a massive blow with Dawn Fresh Foods set to close with the loss of one hundred and four jobs.
The phased closure of the production facility established in 1984 will take place with immediate effect and will be completed by December.
Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and Marine Tom Hayes has arranged a meeting between Department officials, Enterprise Ireland, Queally Group MD and company management on Friday.
“We have to act immediately to see if we can identify a buyer” said the Minister who met the Dawn Fresh Foods workforce on Tuesday.
The company, which is involved in the production of frozen and chilled products for the Irish and UK market, stated that despite restructuring efforts over the last few years, and particularly in the last 18 months, the plant has continued to be loss making and that a viable rescue plan was not achievable.
Local businessman Larry Kenny said the closure came as an awful shock.
Fethard had already been badly hit with the closure of three businesses since Christmas.
Dawn Fresh Foods was the only factory in the town and the biggest employer apart from Coolmore Stud.
“Husbands and wives and fathers and sons work there, some have been there for nearly thirty years.
“It is an atrocious blow to the workers and their families and it will have a huge ripple effect not only in Fethard but in Cloneen, Drangan, Killenaule and Moyglass,”he said.