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'The first Irish casualty of Brexit': 60 jobs lost in Tipperary as mushroom factory closes

The Schiele and McDonald plant closed today, taking 60 jobs with it.

File photo
File photo
Image: Ajit Solanki

THE LOSS OF 60 jobs at a mushroom factory in Tipperary has been described as a “body blow” for the town.

The Schiele and McDonald plant closed today, taking 60 jobs with it.

The move comes as the weak sterling in the wake of June’s Brexit referendum puts pressure on some agricultural exporters.

Around 3,500 Irish people are employed in the mushroom industry and Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill of Fianna Fáil says all of those jobs could be at risk because 95% of Irish-grown mushrooms go to the UK.

“All of those companies would have their contracts in sterling and the currency has depreciated.

This is one of the first Irish casualties of the Brexit referendum. Unfortunately, this could just be the first company (to close). They need some form of state aid.

Cahill added that the job losses will come as a further blow to the town. With a population just north of 5,000, 1,400 are unemployed and the rate has climbed in each of the last four months.

“It’s a major blow, the town needs urgent action.”

Local Fine Gael councillor Michael Fitzgerald added that the town had been badly hit over the years following the withdrawal of a number of IDA-backed plants.

“This is a further body blow to the town.”

Independent councillor Denis Leahy said his sympathies are with the staff.

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“It came as a bombshell today. It’s going to have a huge impact.

Little did I know that when the British people went to the polls, Tipp town would be impacted.

“We’ve lost our indigenous industries and our manufacturing is gone.

“The government has to do something at this point. We cannot take blow after blow.

“We have to work to make Tipperary great again.”

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