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Minister concerned by cider industry job losses

19 February, 2009

Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has today expressed regret and disappointment at Magners' announcement of 120 job losses across Ireland.

Discussing the development, the Minister said: "It is a very worrying that the economic downturn is spreading to our agri-food industry, with the Irish drinks sector the latest to be affected.

"During a visit to Magners' production plant in Clonmel last September I was very impressed with the skill and expertise of their workforce and the high level of investment they have made in their cider production facilities. The loss of 120 jobs is very regrettable, including seven in the north and I sympathise with the employees who are affected.

"Magners have become an important market for fruit growers in the north and I hope the business can recover from these difficult times. The news comes at a time when local growers are celebrating the bi-centennial of the Bramley apple. We will continue to assist the growers in north through technology transfer, business support, training and Research and Development. In addition we can provide financial help from the Rural Development Programme to develop processing and marketing initiatives."

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