“The Carrigans meat factory is to Donegal what Waterford Glass is to Waterford”
Senator Mc Gowan in Seanad Éireann, May 1990.
Donegal Meat Processors
abbreviated as DMP is based in Drumnashear, Carrigans, St Johnston, Lifford, Co
Donegal. Locally the company and facility are simply known as the “Meat
Factory” a nickname that has been with the plant since it was first opened.
DJS Meats Ltd
was acquired by Goodman
International on 14th June 1989 and a new company Donegal Meat Processors was
created, Donegal Meat Processors improved and opened up the plant that
was closed in 1990 owing to a legal problem raised by the Minister of the
Department of Industry and Commerce. This provoked a heated political
debate and subsequently it was reopened again.
The company slaughters and
de-bones about 1500 cattle per week. It possesses the capacity to process
2000 cattle weekly. The facilities for slaughtering animals were upgraded
in 2003 to bring them in line with the best that modern technology and knowledge
can bring. Further upgrading took place in the middle of 2006 when
machinery that does the de-boning was installed.
the company begin to supply a similar plant in
Zaandam in the Netherlands.
Through this the de-boned and processed meat was provided for sale in the
At the present time, 2009,
the company, known as Donegal Meat Processors Ltd, employs about 180 people.
It has been a great source of employment in the St Johnston and Carrigans area
which for decades has been an unemployment blackspot.
In 2009, Donegal Meat Processors Ltd found that
their application to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's Beef
and Sheepmeat Investment Fund was successful. Donegal Meats Processors Ltd
was one of only 15 groups to get this funding.
Due to the recession, Donegal Meats had to
cease production in its boning hall in 2010. This resulted in the loss of
about 70 jobs. The operation was transferred to a sister plant. The
losses affected workers from Donegal, Poland and Brazil.
The website is no longer
online at the time of writing. It was
FROM DERRY PEOPLE, DONEGAL
NEWS - 25 September 1989
The ITGWU has expressed its concern at the long delay in
recommending production at the Anglo Irish Beef Processors Plant at Carrigans.
This plant was previously operated by DJS Meats, Tallaght, County Dublin,
trading as James Doherty (Carrigans) Ltd. Anglo Irish Beef acquired the
plant last June when production ceased and a number of clerical workers
totalling 100 were all laid off. Following several meetings between management
and union there were high expectations that work would resume soon and an EC
inspection was carried out at the plant on Friday, September 15.
THE DERRY PEOPLE AND DONEGAL NEWS, SAT AUG 18 1990
IFA representatives are working on proposals which they hope
will lead to the re-opening of the Carrigans meat factory, which has been out of
operation since last year because of a Fair Trade Commission report on the
extent of the control of the beef market resting with companies controlled by Mr
Negotiations were at a "delicate stage" members of the County
Executive of the IFA were told at their monthly meeting in Raphoe Tuesday night
by Mr John Starrett, the County Chairman.
Mr Starrett told the
meeting that he, along with Mr Gerry Dunne, the Regional Development Officer,
and Mr Geoffrey Vance, the National Council Representative, had met the Minister
for Industry and Commerce, Mr Desmond O' Malley, recently about the closure of
He said that the Minister
told them he had to abide by the recommendations of the Fair Trade investigation
into the take-over of the factory by Anglo Irish Beef Processors, a Goodman
controlled company. The Minister had stated that he could not sanction the
take-over until the master Meats factory at Omagh was sold to an independent
Mr Starrett reported also
that they had met Mr Larry Goodman and three of his executives, including
Donegal born Brian Britton in Ardee on July 20th. The Donegal IFA
deputation were told that the Goodman group wanted to re-open Carrigans, but on
legal advice could not do so.
Mr Starrett said a
suggestion was made which was being put to the Minister who was keeping in
contact with the situation although he was away from Dublin on holidays.
Mr Vance said they ahd
pointed out to the Goodman executives that the Bandon meat factory, which is
also the subject of a Fair Trade Commission recommendation against takeover, was
still in operation, but they were told that this was being done by the original
owners in that case, whereas the owners of Carrigans had gone into liquidation.
Mr Paddy Kelly, Finn Valley
Branch, said the IFA would have to take some action to highlight the issue even
if it meant driving cattle around Mr O' Malley. Mr Dunne said he believed
that progress was being made on the issue.
"Negotiations are at a
delicate stage. The comment we got from Mr Goodman is that they are
anxious to open the factory", Mr Starrett said.
"We must take action.
We need to have something concrete by the end of August", Mr Kelly replied.
It was also reported to the
meeting that Northern Hauliers and meat factories had taken offence to comments
at a previous IFA meeting which referred to Donegal farmers facing a loss of
£2.50 per lamb and £12.50 per beast in transport to other factories, since the
closure of Carrigans, when it was clear from the discussions that the reference
was to other factories in the South of Ireland and not to stock crossing the
Goodman sells off plant in
Donegal for nearly £10m
Published 06/01/1998 IRISH INDEPENDENT
THE FIRST of many expected changes of ownership in the Irish meat industry
during 1998 has seen Larry Goodman's Irish Food Processors company sell off its
Carrigans meat plant in Donegal.
Foyle Meats Group, the new owners, began slaughtering cattle yesterday at the
plant located three miles across the Foyle from Derry city.
The 170 staff will continue working under the new trading name of Donegal Meat
Industry reports suggest a purchase price of near £10m, but neither parties to
the deal would comment on this figure yesterday.
Irish meat companies have taken a battering since the March 1996 BSE disaster
and there has been speculation for some time about processing plants changing
However, a spokesman for Irish Food Processors has gone on record as firmly
denying any such review of operations at the group, specifically refuting a
media report that its Cahir beef plant was on the market.
Irish Food Processors sold its Bagenalstown factory to Michael Behan over a year
ago but is still reckoned to account for some 25pc of the national cattle kill.
Kepak, which bought Agra Trading last year, accounts for some 18pc; Dawn has a
reported 15pc; Irish Country Meats 8pc; while both Dairygold and Slaney account
for 5pc each.
Foyle Meats Group is the sole Northern Ireland supplier of red meat to Tesco,
having previously been a supplier to the Stewarts chain.
Owned by the Watson and Acheson families, the Foyle group's Tesco business is
now worth stg£60m to a company which last year bought Omagh Meats from the
former Goodman executive Nobby Quinn.
Robert Watson yesterday said the prime reason behind their purchase of the
Carrigans plant was to gain access to export markets from a Republic of Ireland
``Even if there is a partial lifting of the BSE ban from the UK, it will still
be difficult for companies there. We intend building up a new customer base from
Carrigans,'' said Mr Watson.
Foyle Meats was one of four Northern firms selling beef to the Albert Heijn
supermarket group in Holland before imposition of the export ban,
He rejected the suggestion the reason behind purchasing the Donegal plant was to
supply Tesco's new stores in the Republic.
Mr Watson said they expected to be killing 1,000 cattle and up to 5,000 lambs
per week by this spring.
-See more at:
On Tuesday, July 31st 2012, over 60 farmers from Donegal
were welcomed for a visit to the Foyle Food Group, processing plant at
Carrigans, Co. Donegal, where over 1500 cattle are processed each week. The
Foyle Food Group are the primary processors of beef across three sites in
the North West of Ireland and specialize in slaughtering, deboning and
The staff provided a very warm
welcome and their infectious enthusiasm certainly impressed the visiting
group. More information, which includes some very interesting facts, will
follow early next week.
In the meantime visit this website to find out more
about the Foyle Food Group