Offaly Minister to visit Glenisk owners after devastating fire

Offaly Minister to visit Glenisk owners after devastating fire

Firefighers at the scene PIC CREDIT: Midlands 103

Offaly senator and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett, has said she will visit the Cleary family on Tuesday following the devastating fire at their plant in Killeigh on Monday.

Speaking on Monday night, Minister Hackett said: "The total destruction of the Glenisk plant, near Killeigh in Co Offaly, due to fire is devastating for the Cleary family, their staff, and also for the farmers who supply them. This is a successful business, built from scratch, and one of the main processors of organic milk in the country.

"As the Minister with responsibility for organics, I want to recognise the extraordinary contribution they have made to the organic sector, and I will be in Tullamore tomorrow evening [Tuesday] to discuss the situation with them."

Glenisk, one of Offaly and the country's best-known food plants was completely devastated by fire on Monday,

The fire alarm sounded at about 11am at the Glenisk organic yogurt manufacturing facility at Killeigh, Tullamore and all 50 staff were immediately evacuated. 

Speaking at the plant on Monday, Glenisk director Gerard Cleary said "basically everything" had been lost.

"It's devastating for all of us really at this point in time and we don't really know what to say," said Mr Cleary.

"We'll just have to see what we have and what we can salvage and then just start again.  That's all we can do."

He was glad the plant's safety and emergency plans worked effectively. 

"We're just grateful to all the services, the fire brigade and the ambulance. Luckily no one was injured in any way so we're very thankful for that."

He said a cause is not yet known but manufacturing plant and stocks had been destroyed.

"Anything that gets us to get a pot of yogurt to the supermarket shelf, that's all gone at the moment. But we're resilient. We'll fight back."

Buildings not directly affected by the fire may have smoke damage.

Glenisk was founded by the Cleary family in 1987 and has grown to become one of the country's premier organic brands.

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