Irish exporter thrives despite recession
By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 09 April, 2012
That Errigal Seafood is thriving in a recession shouldn’t come as a surprise. Established in 1962 by industrious local priest Fr James McDyer, the company was born out of hard times.
Arriving in the Donegal Gaeltacht area of Glencolmcille in 1951 — where there was no electricity, public water supply or employment and only a few tarred roads — Fr McDyer saw young people emigrating in droves. Set up against all odds, initially as a vegetable factory, that Errigal Seafood now has a turnover of EUR 26 million is a miracle on par with the loaves and the fishes.
“We’re 100 percent export,” explains finance director Alan Mitchell. “That’s amazing because our distance from market is so phenomenal. Even our distance from some of our raw material catches is as well, given that a lot of it is caught in the UK.”
A fish factory since the early 1970s, Errigal Seafood processes premium shellfish such as crab, whelks, scallops and lobster at its base in Carrick, about 20 minutes from Killybegs. Cooked on site, the seafood is then exported either fresh or frozen to wholesalers and premium retailers such as Carrefour in France and El Corte Inglés, Spain.