Guinness announced that 290 jobs in Dundalk are to go. They are to close the MacArdles packing plant, where 200 people are employed, in September. A further 90 jobs are to go in the Harp brewery. The company said the 290 job losses include 90 people who are taking early retirement. The 60 remaining employees in the Harp brewery have been told a radical transformation would be required in operations.

Unions at the Guinness plants in Dundalk have said they will fight the decision. The Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister, Mary Harney, said that she was "bitterly disappointed" at the announcement.

Guinness has said that it had to close one of its three packaging plants, in Liverpool, Belfast and Dundalk, and on cost grounds Dundalk was chosen. The company also says that it still has to cut costs and further reviews of its global operations will take place in the coming months.