Fire at Glenisk factory ‘devastating’

ireland
Fire At Glenisk Factory ‘Devastating’ Fire At Glenisk Factory ‘Devastating’
Glenisk's yoghurt factory fire, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

A major fire that ripped through a yoghurt manufacturing factory has been described as “devastating” for its owners, workforce and suppliers.

The fire broke out at Glenisk’s organic yoghurt factory in Killeigh, near Tullamore, on Monday.

The full extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Glenisk employs 90 people, with about 70 of those people working at the site in Killeigh.

Glenisk’s organic yoghurt factory in Killeigh, near Tullamore, after a fire broke out on Monday (Niall Carson/PA)

Director Emma Walls said: “We don’t fully know the extent of the damage, and until we have full access to the site we won’t be able to assess the damage.

“What’s clear, though, is it is pretty devastating. We think that the yoghurt plant has been very severely damaged.

“We hope that the yoghurt processing unit, where we pack our one-litre cartons of organic cows’ milk and goats’ milk, can be brought back to life in short order and we hope to get that process under way today.

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“It’s early days and it’s hard to be sure what the extent of the damage is.”

 

She said that staff members have been left devastated by the damage caused by the fire.

Smoke was spotted in the incubation room before 12pm on Monday.

Around 50 staff were quickly evacuated from the building and there were no reports of injuries.

“There is a range of emotions, shock, sadness and frustration because so much effort, passion, care and attention goes into every pot of yoghurt and litre of milk,” Ms Walls added.

Glenisk’s organic yoghurt factory in Killeigh, near Tullamore (Niall Carson/PA)

“The staff are devastated, but they are resilient and many of them have been with us 20 years or more and I know all of them will work together to rebuild the business.

“There’s a real determination not to allow this to take over and we have to rebuild and start again.”

Managing director of Glenisk Vincent Cleary said the future of the business is “uncertain”.

Local Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen said: “The community is in shock and devastated and terribly sorry for the Cleary family, the company, the workforce, the locality.

“We are just glad and thankful to the fire service and the emergency services for the work they did at such short notice and ensuring there was no loss of life or major injuries, that is the most important thing.

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Firefighters at the factory in Killeigh (Niall Carson”/PA)

“Plant and machinery and business, as difficult as it is, can be replaced but life cannot.

“It’s a case now of taking stock and assessing the damage and assessing the means and methods by which this company can get back on its feet.”

He added: “They are great champions of their own industry and their products are world-renowned. They are great mentors in helping others start out in other businesses and helping those and now it’s our turn to ensure they get the help and assistance they deserve.”

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