The fire at the Glenisk plant in Co. Offaly is “devastating” for the Glenisk brand and its owners, the Cleary family, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said.

Extensive damage was done to the plant in Killeigh, near Tullamore, following a serious fire. Some 50 staff were on site at the time but, thankfully, there have been no injuries arising from the incident.

The damage to the plant is likely to have a serious knock-on impact for the organic dairy sector, IFA Organic Project team chairperson Nigel Renaghan said this morning (Tuesday, September 28).

“The fire could have disastrous consequences for organic milk suppliers.

“The facility handles the majority of organic milk across the island of Ireland,” Renaghan pointed out.

Glenisk sources milk from approximately 50 dairy farmers across Ireland and it is the destination for around 90% of the organic milk supply.

Up to now, the business had bolstered its sale of organic yogurt, following a period of growth since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The number of staff employed by the firm had grown to 85 and it held the number one position in the yogurt market in Ireland, with a market share of around 19%.

“Glenisk supplies must be safeguarded at this time and alternative arrangements put in place for processing of the milk,” Renaghan stressed.

Fire units from a number of fire stations in the Offaly area attended the scene of the fire yesterday (Monday, September 27), which started at around lunchtime.

Gardaí also responded to the incident.

A spokesperson for Glenisk said that the company is “devastated”.

“There were approximately 50 employees on site at the time and everyone was evacuated safely. For now the priority is to ensure the safety of our colleagues. We will assess the damage and move forward. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the emergency services,” the spokesperson added.