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'A huge blow': Concern as 68 workers face redundancy at Monaghan dairy site

The redundancies at Lakeland Dairies were announced today.

Image: Shutterstock/279photo Studio

POLITICIANS HAVE CRITICISED the announcement that 68 workers at Lakeland Dairies’ Monaghan site will be made redundant. 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy called the news a “huge blow to the region” and said that the government should intervene to try to save jobs. 

Carthy said it was a “significant blow to the Co Monaghan economy that depends so heavily on indigenous employers due to the failure of state agencies to promote this county to outside investors”. 

In April, LacPatrick Dairies and Lakeland Dairies announced a merger. In a statement, CEO of Lakeland Dairies Michael Hanley described the decision as “regrettable”.

In Monaghan, 130 people are employed by the company. 

“While this development is difficult for everyone concerned, it is necessary to ensure we operate our business in the most efficient manner,” Hanley said. 

“It has been the core strategy of Lakeland Dairies to ensure that all sites are run as profitably as possible to ensure we are well-positioned to meet the demand of a competitive global dairy market while protecting the future of our 3,200 farm families,” he added. 

Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys has expressed her disappointment over the job losses. 

“Today’s announcement by Lakeland Dairies of 68 job losses is very disappointing – for the company, for the hard-working employees and their families, and for the local area,” Humphreys said. 

As a local elected representative, it is extremely disappointing for me to see job losses here in Monaghan and I know this announcement will come as a huge blow to the town and region. 

Humphreys said she has informed Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty about today’s announcement. 

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“She has assured me that her Department’s staff are ready to offer every available support to those who are looking to reskill, upskill and seek new employment,” she said. 

Humphreys was in Monaghan today announcing 40 new jobs for the area in electrics company MDE Installations. 

Cross-border company Lakeland Dairies is the second largest dairy processor in Ireland, processing over 1.85 billion litres of milk every year.

Hanley did not mention Brexit in his statement. However, since the 2016 referendum, concerns have been raised about how the dairy industry will operate on the island in the event of a hard border or a no-deal Brexit. 

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