Basta closure devastating body blow for Tubbercurry

Manufacturing operation among huge developments lost to once flourishing South Sligo capital.

Sligo News File

South Sligo is reeling following the closure of yet another business operation in Tubbercurry.

Basta, once an industrial powerhouse of the south Sligo economy, ceased operations at the weekend. The major home-grown manufacturing plant was established by the late James Gallagher, a dynamic local TD, and the Gallagher family in 1955. Employing a workforce of more than 200 by the early 1960s when nationally job opportunities were light on the ground, the plant grew to become a leader in the production of a distinctive range of door and window locks as well as building industry components for the home and export markets.

Prosperity and growth

With the addition of the Tool and Gauge in 1956, and the presence of a flourishing farmer-owned co-operative, Tubbercurry and the greater South Sligo area came to enjoy an era of immense
prosperity and growth

The end of the road for Basta coincides with the appalling failure of successive governments to underpin the future of rural economies,
and in this Tubbercurry has been no exception. Indeed, the Fine Gael-led government showed little concern for the welfare of south Sligo and its rural population when it brazenly ordered that State offices and 110 jobs in Tubbercurry be taken from the town and transferred to Mayo.

The shock action soon came to be followed by another massive blow, this time an announcement by Aurivo – a co-operative with roots deep in the economy and history of the area – that it was switching its headquarters and nearly 60 jobs from Tubbercurry to Sligo. The co-operative also closed its butter operation at nearby Achonry, where twenty were employed, and transferred the activity from there to Mitchelstown in Cork.

Upwards of 40 workers

Basta petitioned the circuit court in July following which an interim examiner was appointed to examine the viability of the business. Closure of the plant was announced on Thursday. It’s understood that some of the upwards of 40 workers losing their jobs have been with Basta for more than 40 years.

Tubbercurry is in the Sligo -Leitrim constituency where there are four TDs – Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon, Fianna Fail, Tony McLoughlin, Fine Gael and Martin Kenny,
Sinn Fein.