Remaining staff ‘on notice’ at once thriving Tyrone Brick
A FORMER employee of the Tyrone Brick factory - which was the largest clay brick manufacturer in Ireland in its heyday - has recalled how the firm was once one of the Dungannon area’s largest sources of employment.
The local man, who did not wish to be named, expressed dismay that operations at the plant, on the town’s Coalisland Road, will cease in the near future.
In a statement, Tyrone Brick Ltd said the decision to close the plant had been taken due to the “continued downturn” in the construction sector.
The statement confirmed that staff on the site - understood to be around four - have been put on protective notice.
A spokesman for the company, which was established in 1890, told the Tyrone Times production had ceased in 2009 and that, since then, staff have been working through a build-up of stock.
The spokesman added that there had been a “wind down over time” in work at the plant.
It is understood that, while no specific date has been earmarked for closure, it will be within the next few months.
One long serving former employee of the Tyrone Brick factory told the Times that, during the busiest period in the company’s history, bricks were produced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“There were two plants to cater for that level of production”, explained the former worker.
“Bricks would have been made from seven in the morning until seven the next morning. There were 12 hour shifts, as well as nightshifts, so that the orders could be got out.
“There would have been over 100 people employed there at one time, and it was a good place to work. It certainly did a lot of good for people in the Dungannon and Coalisland areas.
“The company was good to work for, there was a good pension scheme, so it is disappointing that they are having to close for good.
“I can’t see how in the present economic climate the plant will open again, and it is a hard blow for the area.”
The former Tyrone Brick employee recalled how bricks were produced for use in Scotland, England and the south of Ireland.
Most of the Tyrone Brick workforce was made redundant three years ago, with a production facility, at Cookstown Road, closing in April 2008.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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