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Meat plant jobs in jeopardy over state of local roads

Story by Ann Casey

Wednesday, 23rd July, 2014 2:33pm

Meat plant jobs in jeopardy over state of local roads

Frank Twomey outside the meath plant

 Jobs are under threat at an Oldcastle meat factory because of the appalling state of the roads in the area.
The Traditional Meats Company, based at Dromone, is in danger of losing contracts, as a haulier has refused to travel to the factory following an incident in which an airbag burst as the truck went over one of the giant potholes on the road outside the factory.
Frank Twomey, a director of the company which employs 45 people, has warned that if they lose orders because of the inability to load product, they will be forced to lay off workers.
“We are looking to ship our product 2,000km to France and Europe and it is the 200 metres approach to the factory which is the issue,” said Mr Twomey.
The company has grown from 15 people in 2008 to currently employing 45 people, a very substantial number in such a small community.
He explained the company had applied to Meath County Council to participate in a Community Involvement Scheme, in which the firm would make a contriution to roadworks, over 18 months ago but the company had heard nothing in response.
Mr Twomey pointed out that the company spends roughly €19 million annually buying from local farmers and pays approximately €1.5 million in wages locally.
Cllr Johnny Guirke has expressed his despair at this latest example of the impact of the worsening roads problem in north Meath.
He said the Better Roads for North Meath Campaign had consistently highlighted the negative social and economic impact of the deteriorating road conditions in the area.
A spokesperson for Meath County Council said that, from 2013 to date, the council had undertaken restoration work on 100km of road in the Kells Municipal District.
“The road referred to is on the list for pothole repair and it is intended to carry out repairs in the next two to three weeks. However, the council is also examining the possibility of including the road in the nearby Community Involvement Scheme, which would offer a better solution in terms of road restoration,” she said.

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