Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher says the news that Lakeland Dairies it to halve its workforce at its Monaghan site comes as a huge blow to the town.

Workers were informed on Friday that 68 jobs are to go at the plant, following a merger with LacPatrick Dairies earlier in the year.

Senator Gallagher said, “My first thoughts are with the staff and their families. The news is a devastating blow for them. The facility – formerly the Town of Monaghan Co-Op – has been an employer in the town for decades, and Friday’s announcement has been met with shock and disappointment.

“The staff must be must be given every support possible as decisions are made about redundancies. Many of the staff will have worked there for years and everything must be done to ensure that they are offered redundancy terms that reflect their years of service and loyalty to the company.

“These job losses will undoubtedly have a wider knock on effect on the local economy, particularly given the volatile Brexit situation. The government needs to ensure that workers are given the support they need to find alternative employment. I am also seeking assurances from the company about the future of the site and the remaining 63 jobs.

“Some workers will require support from the government to help them upskill so that they can find alternative employment. We need to see a multi-agency approach to ensure that this occurs. I’m calling on the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys to sit-down with local representatives to discuss what needs to be done to support workers at this difficult time.”