14 Roscommon People Friday 07 November 2008 people news Hannon’s Poultry to close with loss of over ﬁfty jobs The reported impending closure of Hannon’s It is understood that staff at the chicken process- by loopholes in our labelling laws.” of a job to ﬁnd alternative employment or seek Poultry factory in Roscommon town, with the ing plant were told on Friday of the impending The closure of the Hannon Poultry company in training opportunities.” loss of about 54 jobs, has come as a severe closure. The People understands that about ten Roscommon is one of the most worrying devel- The loss of more than 50 jobs following the clo- blow to the local economy. No press statement employees remain at the plant at present. opments in the current economic downturn as it sure of Hannon’s Poultry factory was described has been forthcoming from Hannon’s but news Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten reacted to the represents difﬁculties created for the indigenous as a “devastating blow for Roscommon town”, spread around the county town on Friday last of news. “This announcement is devastating news food industry by having to play on an uneven by Fine Gael local election candidate Laurence the closure and it was subsequently reported in to those employed with the company, but also playﬁeld, said Independent MEP Marian Harkin. Fallon. the national media. to the local economy which beneﬁted from the Local Fine Gael councillor Domnick Connolly He said: “The state agencies must act now to One of Roscommon town’s longest established wage packets. called for urgent action to be taken to aid job provide all support necessary, including re-train- businesses, most of the workforce at Hannon’s in This closure can be directly attributed to the creation in Roscommon town following the job ing where appropriate, to assist the workforce in recent years consisted of members of Brazilian failure by Government to properly regulate and losses. securing new employment and prevent them be- and Polish nationals. Seasonal lay-offs of staff enforce food labelling laws. The reality is that “I am now calling on FÁS and other state agen- coming just another statistic on the ever-expand- were a regular occurrence in recent years. quality Irish food products are being undermined cies to aid those who now ﬁnd themselves out ing live register.” Extra resources needed for job creation – Connolly Labelling loopholes Local councillor Domnick Connolly has called for ur- gent action to be taken to aid job creation in Roscommon town following recent job losses in the area. Cllr. Connolly said: costing jobs – Naughten “Roscommon has been The grossly inadequate jobs, according to Denis Hannon’s Poultry factory 54 jobs. “This announce- gent, should be working to largely ignored when it food labelling laws in Naughten TD, speaking in Roscommon town is set ment is devastating news close this crazy loophole comes to the issue of job this country are costing after it was revealed that to close with the loss of to those employed with which allows foreign food creation and urgent action the company, but also to to be passed off as Irish. needs to be taken to rem- the local economy which Minister Sargent must edy this situation. “The reality is that when there are job losses in a town, like we have McNamara calls beneﬁted from the wage packets. This closure can be directly attributed to the failure by Govern- now explain to farmers and consumers, as well as those who have now lost their jobs, why the Fianna seen occurring across the ment to properly regulate Fáil/Green Government Cllr. Domnick Connolly country recently, other businesses such as shops and landlords in the area also suffer from the resulting blow to the local econo- for a task force HAC Cllr. Paula McNamara expressed concerns and enforce food labelling laws. The reality is that quality Irish food products are being undermined by has so far failed to amend this ridiculous legislation. “Jobs are being lost and Irish farmers are losing mil- my. loopholes in our labelling lions in lost revenue while about the reported closure which she said would “I am now calling on FÁS and other state agencies to laws. suffering the indignity of be “a devastating blow” to Roscommon town. aid those who now ﬁnd themselves out of a job to ﬁnd “On numerous occa- seeing foreign food sold Noting that about 60 people are employed there, alternative employment or seek training opportunities.” sions I have highlighted as Irish simply because it she said a loss of jobs on this scale has a direct the fact that the ‘substan- has been processed in this impact on revenue circulating in the town. tial transformation’ loop- country. Inadequate food Jobs blow It will also have a major indirect impact as hole allows produce which labeling and, in particular, demand for goods and services will be affected, has had minimal process- the substantial transforma- ‘devastating’ – Fallon she said. ing in Ireland, like the tion loophole are behind The loss of 50 jobs following the closure of Hannon’s Cllr. McNamara put the cost of the closure to addition of breadcrumbs, the difﬁculties being expe- Poultry factory has been described as a “devastating the economy as between €2m and €3m. “Unfor- to be passed off as Irish. rienced by companies like tunately over the last number of years Roscom- blow for Roscommon Coupled with misleading Hannon’s Poultry. mon town has had a succession of job losses, town”, by Fine Gael local labelling this means Irish “This lack of enforce- particularly in the manufacturing sector, but also election candidate Lau- produce and cheap im- ment has lead to today’s in services.” rence Fallon. ports are not competing on job losses and more will Cllr. McNamara called on Minister Michael “The loss of 50 jobs a level playing ﬁeld. follow unless immediate Finneran to put a task force in place to attract will have a severe effect “The Government’s action is taken,” conclud- employment to the area. on the economy of a small Food Minister, Trevor Sar- ed Deputy Naughten. town such as Roscom- mon,” stated Mr Fallon. Laurence Fallon “The announcement of the closure is devastating news for those who will Save poultry industry – Harkin lose their jobs and the repercussions will be felt through- The closure of the Hannon Poul- local services and purchasing of imports into so called ‘Irish’ out the town and surrounding areas with many other try company in Roscommon is raw materials,” she said. products, there can be no future businesses locally feeling the knock-on effects of this one of the most worrying devel- However Hannon’s and other for an indigenous Irish poultry closure. opments in the current economic Irish poultry processors are being industry,” she said. “The state agencies must act now to provide all sup- downturn as it represents difﬁ- pressured out of business by the While the current situation port necessary, including re-training where appropriate, culties created for the indigenous fact that a huge volume of im- continued there would inevitably to assist the workforce in securing new employment and food industry by having to play ported poultry products do have be further closures of Irish chick- prevent them becoming just another statistic on the ever- on an uneven playﬁeld, accord- to meet the same stringent qual- en processors with severe impli- ing to MEP Marian Harkin. ity standards as Irish processed cations for those who worked in expanding live register.” Ms. Harkin was calling for poultry, Marian Harkin said. the industry, extending from pro- Mr. Fallon continued: “The Hannon family has, for EU regulations to be adminis- Highest standards ducers of chickens to rearers and a long number of years, provided a valuable service for tered in a way which protected “If the Irish government fails ultimately the processors them- poultry producers in Roscommon and the surrounding those food producers who met to persuade the European Com- selves, she said. areas and this announcement is a sad time for all con- the vitally necessary standards mission that Irish consumers are This requires an immediate cerned with its operation in Roscommon town. designed to protect consumers. not being protected by a system and urgent response for the Irish “This closure is a signiﬁcant loss to the industry and “Hannon Poultry has been a which rightly requires Irish pro- government and the EU to tackle follows in the wake of similar difﬁculties elsewhere in successful processing company ducers and processors to meet the disparity in standards which the country. It is clear that the time has now arrived for for many years providing valu- the highest standards in the threatens the survival of the Irish Marian Harkin, MEP the Government to take action to stop the situation where able employment and contribut- world, while refusing to insist on poultry industry and the interests imported foodstuff can be labelled as Irish after only ing to the local economy through the same standards for imports, of consumers and this must be belling country of origin and date of very minimal processing.” its wage bill and employment of and the transformation of those done through insistence on la- slaughter, Marian Harkin MEP said.
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