Table: 272 non-EEA work permits issued for meat plants in March and April

A total of 272 work permits were issued to workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to work in meat processing companies during March and April 2020, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has confirmed.

A spokesperson for the department confirmed that 124 permits were issued in March, with a further 148 issued last month.

In a breakdown of permits per company, the company which has obtained the most permits over the two-month period is Rosderra, with 50 permits, followed by Slaney Foods (41 permits) and Dawn Meats (36 permits).

Source: Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation
Source: Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

Meanwhile, out of a total of 5,796 work permits issued up to the end of April, 2020, some 983 permits have been issued for the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector during the first four months of the year.

A further 22 permits were issued for the ‘Manufacture of Food, Drink and Tobacco’ sector during this time-frame, according to department figures.

Out of the 5,796 issued during the four months, April saw the most permits move, with some 1,772 issued last month.


In a statement, the department spokesperson said: “Under the Employment Permits Acts in order to work in the state all non-EEA nationals require a valid employment permit or relevant immigration permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality which allows them to reside and work in the state without the requirement for an employment permit.”

“Ireland operates a managed employment permits system maximising the benefits of economic migration and minimising the risk of disrupting Ireland’s labour market.

The system is intended to act as a conduit for key skills which are required to develop enterprise in the state for the benefit of our economy, while simultaneously protecting the balance of the labour market.

“The employment permits regime is designed to facilitate the entry of appropriately skilled non-EEA nationals to fill skills and/or labour shortages; however, this objective must be balanced by the need to ensure that there are no suitably qualified Irish/EEA nationals available to undertake the work and that the shortage is a genuine one.”