A bakery tonight blamed rising costs and a drop in sales for the loss of at least 124 jobs.
Gallagher’s Bakery in Ardara, Co Donegal, confirmed it had been forced to stop its frozen bread production line.
Management said intensive negotiations with prospective buyers were under way to save its fresh bread business, which could save a number of jobs among its 189-strong workforce.
Declan Gallagher, managing director, said the frozen business was not sustainable in the long term.
“Its position has been under review for some time and we have now arrived at this decision which has been taken with great regret,” said Mr Gallagher.
“There has been a serious market contraction in Ireland and the UK in recent years.
“Increasingly difficult market conditions, increased commodity costs, declining sales and reduced product prices have put immense pressure on the business.
“This has been exacerbated by the weakness of sterling which has affected our ability to compete in the UK market.”
Local politician Dinny McGinley said the news was a devastating body blow to employment in South West Donegal.
“The loss of 124 jobs is nothing short of an economic tragedy for the area, especially when the region is already an unemployment black spot,” said the Fine Gael deputy.