Cheers Eamon! Sadness after the last peat briquette factory closes – – Our News, Your Views

Cheers Eamon! Sadness after the last peat briquette factory closes

It was the end of an era this week, when the country’s last brick factory closed.

This week, after more than 60 years in production, the conveyor belt at Bord na Móna’s Derrinlough facility in Co Offaly came to a permanent end, reports RTE.

It was the last surviving brick factory of four operating at Bord na Móna, the others being Lullymore, Co Kildare, Croghan, Co Offaly and Littleton, Co Tipperary.

Construction of Derianloch began in 1957 and was completed in 1959.

The factory, which cost £1.25m to complete, produced its first bricks in December 1959.

Pressure to reduce carbon emissions prompted the move to close the last remaining plant.

Although the closure was inevitable after the decision to stop cutting turf in 2021, it came sooner than people expected, reports RTE.

The plant was scheduled to close in early 2024, but that date was pushed forward due to maintenance costs and the quality of the remaining stockpiled turf.

“We all knew this day was coming but we were first 2030, then it was 2024 and then it was accelerated to June 1st, it’s only sinking in with the workers now. There is a lot of upset and anger that it’s come this quickly. This factory started in 1959. We have some third generations of workers here. Their fathers and grandfathers have worked here. We don’t know what the future holds now,” said Ronan Boylan, who has worked at the Derrinlough factory for the last 14 years, reports RTE.

SIPTU and Bord na Móna are awaiting the outcome of an internal industrial relations process involving the Joint Industrial Council.

“We’re waiting on a recommendation. I expect that early next week. Until then, we’re still in limbo, trying to save as many jobs as possible through redeployment but there are issues with that and people being asked to work for lower rates and for longer hours and that has to be sorted out,” said Adrian Kane, Divisional Organiser for Energy at SIPTU, reports RTE.

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