The Coca-Cola Co. has confirmed that it is to close one of its facilities in Ireland.

The company announced on Wednesday (29 August) that its concentrate manufacturing and distribution plant in Drogheda will cease operations in September next year, with the loss of 256 jobs. Coca-Cola's other facilities in the country, in Ballina and Athy, are "sufficient to meet the current and future demand for concentrate and beverage base supply from Ireland", the company said.

A total of 90 new positions will be available at Coca-Cola's two other Irish plants, with Drogheda's affected employees given the opportunity to move to Athy or Ballina. At the same time, 112 "Shared Services" employees will remain in Drogheda, to "provide services to the Coca-Cola business system worldwide", the company said.

"Over the last 30 years, the employees in the Drogheda plant have made a very valuable contribution to the Coca-Cola business," said Hugo Reidy, general manager of the Drogheda plant. "The company will be offering a generous redundancy and early retirement package together with financial advice, job search, re-training and business start-up assistance for the employees affected. We are going into a period of consultation with the employee representatives on the redundancies which we are proposing to make.

"With a significant presence remaining in Drogheda, the company will continue to play an active role in the local community."

Reidy also said that Coca-Cola remains committed to Ireland as a business location. "The country continues to play an important strategic role in supporting the growth of The Coca-Cola Company," he concluded.