Bid to find new industry to replace Dawn Fresh Foods in Fethard

Efforts are being made to try and find a buyer for Dawn Fresh Foods in Fethard, which announced last week that it is to close with the loss of 104 jobs.

Efforts are being made to try and find a buyer for Dawn Fresh Foods in Fethard, which announced last week that it is to close with the loss of 104 jobs.

Enterprise Ireland officials are to meet with representatives of company owners the Queally Group today, Wednesday, in a bid to see if another company in the same industry or in an associated business is interested in taking over the company.

“The sooner a replacement industry is found the better. The closure is a huge blow for the area”, Minster of State Tom Hayes has stated.

The news that the company was to close came as a massive shock to Fethard and South Tipperary.

Dawn Fresh Foods supplies up to 200 products in a range of ready made meals, soups and sauces, with up to 80% of its output exported to the UK.

The phased closure of the plant, which was established almost 30 years ago, is to begin immediately and will be completed by December.

Minister Hayes met with Peter Queally, managing director of the Queally Group, along with Enterprise Ireland and County Council officials and Cllr. Jimmy O’Brien, County Council chairman, last Friday. The Minister said there was an honest and frank exchange of views at what he described as a constructive meeting.

Despite an investment of €6 million, he said the company had been operating at a loss for the past 3-4 years. It was losing €50,000 a week and if it continued to trade at a loss it could be charged with reckless trading and redundancy payments due to the staff could be affected.