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Branch Plant Closures in the West of Ireland

Sheila Walker


Although the number of branch plant closures in the west of Ireland increased significantly in the 1980s, there has been little investigation of the macro-economic forces and corporate strategies underlying closure. In this paper, branch plant closures are considered within a framework which emphasises these wider issues and distinguishes between motivation and selection, cessation and selective closures, and plant and area characteristics. It is shown that changes in the market and lack of competitiveness were the most common motives foreclosure, while the selection of the Irish plant for closure reflected a wide range of plant and area characteristics which must be viewed from a corporate perspective. In particular, important differences exist between large and small companies in terms of the reasons for closing plants in the west of Ireland.

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