Award-winning Clonmel firm warns of closure threat

Sian Moloughney

Sian Moloughney

A Clonmel start-up company that has made it to one year in business has issued a ‘call to action,’ warning that jobs have already been lost and it will have to shut down if it does not get local support.

MJ Keating, managing director of Metron Nanotech, says that unless his company gets more business from the local area it will leave Munster for good, and probably go out of business altogether.

A highlight of Metron Nanotech’s first year in business was topping Clonmel Chamber’s National Enterprise Competition, but since then has found trading difficult and has had to let go its two full-time employees.

Mr Keating now runs the business with the help of his sister and two people who do some irregular part-time work at busier times. The company supplies contamination control products to the pharmaceutical industry.

Speaking to The Nationalist, this week, Mr Keating said that in a time when the government are talking about job creation and encouraging people to support local enterprises, local companies and multinationals based in the Munster area should support him - but won’t give that commitment.

Metron Nanotech currently receives most of its business from companies in the Leinster area, and, Mr Keating says, if that doesn’t change soon he is prepared to move his company away from Clonmel and closer to his customers.

“There is a danger we will have to move the company to Dublin. It looks like we will have to go out of here in May if we don’t get local business,” he said. “We will move to Leinster temporarily and if we don’t get further support we will go out of business. Small companies can’t survive on thin air.”

Mr Keating says he is not ‘whingeing’ but that this is a ‘call to arms’ and he is trying to take action.

“Keep the jobs in Ireland and local,” he urges. “I think multinationals should support local businesses. We can bring the same products and reduce their spend at local level. We have an audience but we don’t get any commitments. We might be small but we are capable.” He says he is asking for Metron Nanotech to be “given the benefit of the doubt.”

“We have had to let people go. I don’t get paid, my sister Joyce works part time. I want to employ people but only if I get support,” Mr Keating described the current state of the company. He said he had to let two people go last year because “cash just wasn’t coming in,” and he currently has two ladies who do part time work “depending on the work available.”

Mr Keating said he established his business because the market said it was needed. “We did a lot of innovation and marketing, we did courses, we did everything right. We did everything that has been recommended for the business. We know there is a gap in the market and we know we can fill it but we don’t think we are being taken seriously. We know in the long term we will be successful.”

Having won the support of the Clonmel Chamber’s National Enterprise Competition Mr Keating said he is very conscious of the support and trust that was put in his company.

“As a business owner it’s sad to see businesses on either side of me closing every day of the week. I’m a voice for SMEs. If I don’t do this I am not doing justice to my company. I’m doing it for every small company in Tipperary.”

In a last ditch attempt to raise business in the county Metron Nanotech’s new website is offering a discount to employees of local companies and he is also planning to canvas local dentists and vets for support.

Metron Nanotech Ltd supply contamination control products to protect product and operators in the production process, i.e. nitrile gloves, laboratory and production components and have recently launched an nitrile glove laundry process which can save manufacturing companies up to 30% on their indirect spend and also help sustain a greener planet by preventing these products that were considered “one use only” from going to landfill. For further information on the company’s products visit or phone Customer Care on 05261 82797