Potential jobs boost for Kepak in Ballymahon

The decision by Westmeath County Council to refuse permission for a second abattoir in Kilbeggan could well be a jobs boost for Ballymahon, according to a local councillor.

The decision by Westmeath County Council to refuse permission for a second abattoir in Kilbeggan could well be a jobs boost for Ballymahon, according to a local councillor.

Cllr Barney Steele welcomed the decision of Westmeath County Council on July 21 to refuse permission to Dunbia for an abattoir in Kilbeggan.

“It would have a knock-on effect, if it was granted, to the (Kepak) plant in Ballymahon,” said Cllr Steele, speaking at the recent County Council meeting. “It would have been an additional abattoir built in Kilbeggan which would not in any way jeopardise the factory in Ballymahon but would have consequences for it.

“The fact that there won’t be a second abattoir there (Kilbeggan) now, in every way, copperfastens the 200 jobs that are in Ballymahon and will probably lead to another 50 or 60 new jobs when the next phase is completed, probably next year.”

Cllr Steele said the Kepak plant in Ballymahon is currently undergoing a €13.5m revamp. He paid tribute to the council staff who held productive meetings with Kepak management.