Twenty-five staff working with Mullingar-based export firm TLT International received their redundancy notices on Tuesday this week. The employees met the receiver, Gearoid Costelloe of Grant Thornton, in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Tuesday when they were served with the notices.
There was shock last Friday when it was announced that TLT, Ireland’s largest livestock exporter, had been placed in receivership. The company, which is owned by the Garavelli family from Mullingar, deals with approximately €30 million in livestock exports annually.
Speaking at a special Dáil debate on the issue yesterday afternoon, Deputy Robert Troy called for the Central Bank to produce a report on the receivership process to ensure that proper procedures were followed.
“The closure of TLT International is a huge blow for Mullingar. TLT accounts for 60 to 70 per cent of the live export trade in Ireland and this is a significant blow to the industry,” said Deputy Troy.
“Marts and farmers from Westmeath and all over the country stand to make losses on TLT International and we need to be sure that the proper procedures were followed.
“The agricultural sector in Ireland is and will be one of the main drivers of the economic recovery. The fact that a receiver has been appointed for TLT International will dent confidence in the sector and may force up cattle prices in marts all over the country.”
MEP Mairead McGuinness described the news that the largest livestock exporter has gone into receivership as “very alarming”, saying it had created “enormous uncertainty” for marts, which are owed hundreds of thousands of euros by TLT, and farmers.
However a spokesperson for Bord Bia said yesterday that the live cattle export market will not be adversely affected by the receivership.
Grant Thornton is proactively contacting all TLT’s creditors, farming organisations, and suppliers of affected marts to gain a full understanding of all stakeholders. An update is expected early next week.