Support rows in behind McHale's after fire

Every assistance that can be offered to McHale's in Ballinrobe after a fire broke out at their plant will be offered to them from Mayo County Council and the Government.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny said on Thursday: "I have spoken with Padraic McHale over the last few days and will remain in close contact with the company. I understand McHale's are currently in the process of assessing the damage after the fire at their premises. The Government and its agencies stand ready to assist McHale's whenever that assessment is complete. McHale's is a local company with a global impact. I often used them as an example of local innovation and job creation and I know they will recover."

Those sentiments were backed up by Cllr Damien Ryan, cathoirleach for Mayo County Council, who is from Ballinrobe. Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser this week, Cllr Ryan said: "It's very unfortunate. I want to make it clear every assistance by Mayo County Council to help the company get back as quickly as they can will be offered. I spoke to the company and so has Mayo County Council chief executive Peter Hynes, and they are well aware of the support we will offer them."

Cllr Ryan said that options included looking at the use of an existing building if required. "There is a building there that's not really ready yet that might be an option.  In the event that it's not, we're willing, ready, and able to give whatever assistance we can."

A statement from the company on Wednesday said: "This morning McHale management and staff have begun to assess the extent of the damage with a view to resuming normal business as soon as possible. McHale would like to sincerely thank the emergency services, farmers and local businesses who helped in tackling the fire which was quickly contained. "

The fire broke out at the plant after 5.30pm on Tuesday evening and the staff on site were evacuated without any injuries. The fire was battled by units from the fire service from Mayo and Galway. The blaze was brought under control on Tuesday night by the fire service with assistance from a number of local farmers who brought water to the site using slurry tanks to ferry the water to the plant.

The company makes a range of products for the agricultural sector and is probably best known for its balers, which are exported to some 50 countries. The business which was set up by brothers Padraig and Martin McHale over 30 years, and employs 270 people at its plant. An investigation is under way to try to establish the cause of the fire.

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