Border; Midland and Western; Border
Location of affected unit(s)
Manufacture Of Material For Textiles, Apparel, Leather And Related Products
Manufacture Of Textiles
13 - Manufacture of textiles
New offshoring locations

630 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
15 September 2004
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date
30 September 2009


A further serious jobs blow was delivered to the north west of Ireland in September 2004 with the announcement by Fruit of the Loom that it is to close its Irish operations in Donegal and Derry with the loss of 630 jobs. It was initially announced that the job losses would be phased over four or five years. However, in November 2005, it was announced that redundancies would occur ahead of schedule. Now the company has announced that the first phase of restructuring will begin in the first half of 2006, when 500 jobs will go. The news was described locally as disastrous for a region which has suffered a spate of company closures, particularly in the textile industry. Fruit of the Loom makes T-shirts, sweatshirts and underwear, and the decision to close the two Irish plants is part of a restructuring of its European operations. The Irish workforce is engaged in spinning, knitting and dyeing. Most operations will be relocated to Morocco, where the company already employs 1,700 people. Around 100 staff will remain in the Irish operations for some time, in order to assist in the transfer and start up of the new facility in Morocco.


  • 20 November 2005: The Irish Times
  • 16 September 2004: The Irish Times


Eurofound (2004), Fruit of the Loom, Offshoring/Delocalisation in Ireland, factsheet number 60523, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/60523.