BOSE SALE CARRICKMACROSS

Former Bose factory, Carrickmacross   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose factory, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

SALE OF BOSE MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT

Michael Fisher    Northern Standard   Carrickmacross News   Thursday 18th June p.43

There was a steady stream of visitors to the former Bose factory in Carrickmacross last Thursday 11th and Friday 12th June. Among them were a number of local business people, checking out the plant and machinery that had been put up for sale by the US-based company. 140 workers were made redundant at the start of June, following the sudden announcement in January that the factory would be closing. For a number of them, Bose had been their only employer and the company had always looked after them since it set up a European base in County Monaghan in 1978.

Former Bose factory, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose factory, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

The company had been founded by a sound engineer and entrepreneur, Dr Amar Bose in 1964 in Natick, Massachusetts. It developed a revolutionary 901 speaker system. Its acoustic wave system was introduced in 1984. One of the reasons the company came to Carrickmacross was because of the local expertise in furniture making. There was a skilled workforce which made cabinets for the sound systems.

Former Bose Factory, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose Factory, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Former Bose workers say the plant continued to be profitable and that staff had fulfilled their targets and had undertaken any necessary work practices to ensure that orders were met. There was never an industrial dispute at the factory. Now some are too old to find another job. But there could be some hope for others.

Padraig McEneaney, CEO Celtic Pure Ltd   Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Padraig McEneaney, CEO Celtic Pure Ltd Photo: © Michael Fisher

According to Padraig McEneaney CEO of Celtic Pure Ltd in Corcreagh, near Carrickmacross, five former Bose workers have been taken on at their bottled water plant. After inspecting the inside of the Bose premises, Mr McEneaney said the plant had been very well maintained. He put bids on a number of items, which had to be in by midday on Friday. Then the tenders were opened on Tuesday, to see which was the highest bid.

Main entrance to former Bose Factory, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Main entrance to former Bose Factory, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

Over 1000 lots were listed in the catalogue and the sale was conducted by McKay Auctioneers from Dublin. Mr McEneaney said this was a slightly unusual way of doing business and he would await the outcome of the tendering process. The businessman said he hoped a replacement business would be found over the next twelve months. Although Carrick was a thriving town, Bose would be sadly missed. There would be a knock-on effect for several contractors such as couriers and suppliers. He pointed out that there were some top quality and highly skilled staff from Bose and he hoped they would find new employment. Mr McEneaney also stressed the advantages Carrickmacross had as a place to locate a business. It was only one hour from Dublin and close to the motorway and the airport.

Paddy Gollogly, Carrickmacross Lions Club    Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Paddy Gollogly, Carrickmacross Lions Club
Photo: © Michael Fisher

Paddy Gollogly, a founder member of Carrickmacross Lions Club, was another visitor to the Bose auction. He said the company had been good for Carrickmacross and had sponsored the Lions’ annual charity cycle run in the early years. Their withdrawal would leave a big loss for charities in the area. He recalled the major contribution the Bose social club had made to groups such as Carrick Cancer, and it was going to be hard to raise money without a similar large group of volunteers to help them. He thanked the workers for their fundraising efforts over the past 37 years.

Kevin Gartlan, Carrickmacross Workhouse.  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Kevin Gartlan, Carrickmacross Workhouse. Photo: © Michael Fisher

Kevin Gartlan of Carrickmacross Workhouse wanted to find out if there were any heritage items that were worth preserving. He hoped that a few items of local interest would be preserved. He also hoped that local small businesses would be successful in their tenders for machinery and other items as it was necessary to keep as many jobs as possible locally.

Jim Hand, President, Carrickmacross Chamber of Commerce Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Jim Hand, President, Carrickmacross Chamber of Commerce Photo: © Michael Fisher

Jim Hand, President of Carrickmacross Chamber of Commerce, said he hoped the IDA and Enterprise Ireland would be successful over the next year in attracting a new company to take over the lease on the factory. It was still a state of the art building. There was a broadband connection and a good infrastructure, with Carrick close enough to Dublin for any investor. He also thanked the loyal Bose workforce for their service and their commitment and the contribution they had made to Carrickmacross for nearly forty years. He hoped the staff would get fixed up elsewhere.

Former Bose Factory, Carrickmacross  Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Former Bose Factory, Carrickmacross Photo: © Michael Fisher

CELTIC PURE INVEST €3 MILLION

Celtic Pure Ltd plant at Corcreagh, Raferagh Photo: © Michael Fisher

Celtic Pure Ltd plant at Corcreagh, Raferagh Photo: © Michael Fisher

€3 MILLION INVESTMENT BY CELTIC PURE TO MEET DEMAND FOR BOTTLED WATER 

Michael Fisher 

There’s been a big demand for a County Monaghan brand of bottled spring water. So much so that the Celtic Pure company based at Corcreagh, Raferagh, near Carrickmacross is investing €3 milion to expand its production line in order to keep up with the increase in orders. Sales of the award-winning water increased by 38% last year, according to the Chief Executive Officer and company founder, Padraig McEneaney.

The natural spring water is sourced from an ancient spring 300 metres down and below the natural filtration beds of limestone rock that can be found in Ulster. The Celtic Pure plant was established in 2000 by Mr McEneaney and his wife Pauline on what used to be a beef farm on land that had been in his family’s possession for several generations. It expanded substantially in 2009, when an extension was opened by the then Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan. It now employs 42 people, the majority of whom come from the South Monaghan area.

Mr McEneaney went to Inver College in Carrickmacross and left school when he was 16 to work in meat factories. When consumers started to demand bottled water for drinking, he saw the potential in the natural spring well which supplied his family’s homestead. The spring water was tested for quality and from small beginnings, the business is now increasing for a second time.

The company has made a big impact on the ever-growing natural bottled water market and is able to supply all orders, no matter how large or small. Celtic Pure manufactures all its own bottles thus eliminating the risk of contamination associated with packaging transportation. It also reduces the company’s carbon footprint.

Operations Manager Tim Oliver took me through the process. He handed me what looked like a small test tube for science experiments or holding samples. He said it was a preform. It took me a while to realise that this type of plastic container was being transformed into a bottle for holding the water on the production line.

He pointed out the three production lines on the factory floor, two of which are constantly in use at any particular time during a 24-hour period. There are three shifts for the workers, each lasting eight hours. At the moment, the lines can handle 7,000 bottles an hour. Now with the installation of new equipment supplied by the German company Krone, the capacity will increase to 18,000 bottles an hour.

The new machine will be able to combine the process of making the plastic bottles from the performs with the bottling operation. Mr Oliver explained how the preHforms were heated in an oven up to a temperature of 120 degrees Centigrade and then placed in a metal mould, into which high pressure air is injected. The scientific process allows the bottling of the water to be done immediately after the bottles are made.

The bottling is carried out under very controlled conditions using state-of-the-art equipment. The spring water is monitored during the filling and capping process to prevent contamination from the environment. Each bottle is given a specific code that establishes the bottling line, date and time produced.

Packaging is also carefully controlled. Celtic Pure Ltd  has won a number of medals for its still and sparkling water products awarded by the British Bottlers Institute. Earlier this month the company was named as a winner of the Manufacturer of the Year category at the Small Business Firms association awards 2015.

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