Emotional Reynolds reflects on jobs boost

Happy Workers at C&D Foods with Richard Bruton Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation with Philip Reynolds, CEO of C&D Foods. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Last Friday’s jobs announcement at C&D Foods was a bittersweet occasion for the man who helped mastermind it all.

Last Friday’s jobs announcement at C&D Foods was a bittersweet occasion for the man who helped mastermind it all.

Philip Reynolds said the creation of 70 new jobs at its Edgeworthstown plant, while momentous professionally, was tinged with unerring personal sadness.

That poignancy, he said as he addressed politicians, including Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, staff and members of the public, owed chiefly to the absence of his late father and former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds.

“It’s disappointing that this development couldn’t have happened a couple of months earlier so my Dad could have come and seen what we have done here,” he said.

“I know he would be extremely proud of what we are doing here and I know he would be extremely proud of what we are launching today.

“I know he is in the room and I know he is looking down and I can feel his presence here with us.”

Mr Reynolds, who passed away in August aged 81, was the original founder of the pet food manufacturer in 1969, a fact his son repeatedly referred to throughout his 15 minute address.

The C&D chief also recalled walking through its glass paned front doors as an exuberant and wet behind the ears 18-year-old.

And he also reflected on the fire which threatened to usurp all the work his father had created thirty years previously.

That was January 2006, a time when the firm boasted a 500-strong workforce.

It’s immediate aftermath brought uncertainty and challenges aplenty, some of which clearly still rankle.

Onlookers were told of how enterprise and old-fashioned hard work can overcome even the severest of adversities.

“Today marks a long road back for C&D Foods since our turbulent days and nights of 2006,” he said.

“Today is not about the €16m that we have had an opportunity to show you.

“Today is not about the €60m that this site has seen in investment over the last eight years.

“It’s also not about the fact that we now have the finest facility of its type in Europe or not about the fact that we now have a fantastic opportunity with this extra capacity to consolidate our pouch business and supply our wider customer base across Europe.

“Today is about finally drawing a line under what happened to us on this site in 2006.

“Success here is off the back of everyone in this room,” Mr Reynolds told the audience.

“It shows if we work together for a common purpose and for a common goal then we can succeed.”