The Quinn Group is to close its packaging plant in Kildare in the coming months with the loss of 41 jobs after a review found it uneconomically viable.

The plant at Newbridge has been in operation since 1987 and became part of the Quinn Group in May 2004, following its acquisition of the Barlo Group.

The company said the decision to close follows a 'detailed review of the plant's operation, which found it is not economically viable in today's very competitive global market for packaging products'.

It said it will continue some operations until the end of this year, but the majority of jobs will cease by the end of October.

Management are to begin discussions immediately with employee representatives.  

SIPTU members at the plant claimed  that the Quinn Group plans to transfer its facility to a non-union site in Fermanagh - where workers will be on inferior conditions.

SIPTU Branch Organiser, Adrian Kane said :Our members are convinced that the only reason the Quinn Group bought the Newbridge plant in 2004 from its competitor, Barlo, was to use it as a stop gap until such time as they could get their production facility in Derrylin, Co. Monaghan up and running'.

The Quinn Group earlier this year acquired Bupa Ireland and since it was set up by Sean Quinn in 1973 as a small quarry in Co Fermanagh, it has developed to become a conglomerate employing more than 6,500 people in areas such as cement, insurance, glass, hotels and radiators.