A number of local caterers have lost out after a Wexford-based company was awarded the contract to supply school lunches to vocational schools in Longford and Westmeath.
And while the Longford/Westmeath Education and Training Board has strongly defended the awarding of the contract to the catering company, suppliers across the county say they have been short-changed by the decision and now face financial difficulties as a direct result of the move.
McBrien’s in Granard supplied Ardscoil Phádraig, while Michael Conlon of Daybreak provided the school lunches for Ballymahon Vocational School, and a Donegal-based firm supplied Templemichael College in Longford town.
The Leader has also learned that Eilish McLoughlin of Dial-A-Chef in Ballinamuck, who provided the food for St Mary’s NS in Edgeworthstown, has also lost a lunch contract there after it too was awarded to the same Wexford company after assurances were given that it would set up business in Longford. Spar in Lanesboro also held the contract for the school lunches at Lanesboro Community College.
“We could be looking now at having to let one member of staff go,” a clearly worried Michael McBrien told the Leader.
“Aside from those concerns we were also able to facilitate the school here at short notice and how is a company from Wexford going to do that?”
More on this story in this week’s Longford Leader.