Fire Destroys Reynolds Factory

By Frank Shouldice, Contributor
April / May 2006

Former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Albert Reynolds was moved to tears when fire destroyed his family business in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford. An accidental blaze tore through cannery sections of C&D Foods, a pet food factory with an annual turnover in the region of 100 million. The fire was a serious blow to the workforce of almost 500, although production was restored at a reduced level within weeks of the outbreak.

C&D has been in the Reynolds family for years, and the former Taoiseach’s son Peter is chief executive. Albert Reynolds visited the scene and was overwhelmed by the devastation. “I don’t know what words I could use to describe it,” he said, faltering emotionally outside the factory gates. “I mean, to spend a lot of your life building up something, it’s not easy.”

The company has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Last year it bought out a British rival to make it the largest producer of own-label pet food in Britain and Ireland. The disaster threatened C&D’s future, but a partial return to production has encouraged staff that all jobs will eventually be restored. ♦

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