Dawn Meats has closed its plant in Kilbeggan, saying it became aware of four confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers.

The company said it would have no impact on the supply of meat to customers or its ability to receive cattle from farmers at its other plants.

“The cases reflect less than 2% of staff at the plant, however the decision was taken out an abundance of caution whilst we review the situation,” Dawn said.

“No production was scheduled today or over the bank holiday weekend, and no decision has yet been taken with regards to deferring any scheduled activity next week.”

Dawn said it had taken a number of measures to implement HSE guidelines in its facilities.


The information comes in the wake of confirmation from Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that he was aware of “six clusters” of COVID-19 in meat factories around the country.

"We are aware of six clusters, five in processing plants and one in a deboning plant," Minister Creed said.

The minister made the comments in response to Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley’s allegations that up to 120 people had tested positive for the virus at one meat facility.

"I particularly want to raise the issue at Rosderra Meats. The company has plants in Edenderry and Roscrea and I have heard complaints from both," Stanley said.

"The worse scenario is in the factory in Roscrea, where there has been an outbreak of Covid-19."

Veterinary Ireland

The president of Veterinary Ireland Conor Geraghty has already called for HSE testing to be ramped up in certain meat plants.

He said more testing, contact tracing and PPE was needed for veterinary staff working in meat factories.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands the HSE was called in to test staff at Rosderra Meats in Roscrea and that other plants are experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19.

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