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Up to 60 new jobs planned at Clare medical diagnostics company

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EXPANSION is on the cards at Beckman Coulters OCallaghans Mills plant, with the company seeking permission for facilities to accommodate an additional 60 staff.

Details of the new jobs are revealed in a planning application currently being considered by Clare County Council. The medical diagnostics company is looking to create additional first floor laboratory and office space, as well as a new roof plant area at its existing eastern warehouse.

The planning application has stated that an 60 additional staff will be added to its existing 420-strong workforce, and will occupy the new extension.

A planning report, from DRA Consulting Engineers, outlined that the first floor area would more than treble in size, if given the go ahead. On the issue of the visual impact, the report stated that this would be minimal as most of the new development would be located internally, within an existing structure. A new roof plant area, of 80 square metres, would have the most impact, visually, the report outlined, but this would be screened by an access stairs and clad to match the existing building.

In respect of traffic and parking, the application has outlined that, due to shift working and the fact that the companys flexible work practices that include working from home, the impact should be minimal. There are currently 388 parking spaces on-site, the report outlined. These are said to be “more than adequate to cater for the existing persons and future 60 persons which will be split into two shifts of 350 day shift and 130 night shift”.

Due to the internal nature of the works, the planning application anticipated that there will be no environmental impact. Water will be provided by an on-site well and wastewater managed by the existing treatment plan at the plant. Wastewater produced through the laboratories and the manufacture of testing products “is stored in process waste tanks where it is regularly removed and disposed of offsite,” the application added. 

County planners have given July 27 as an indicative decision date.

The OCallaghans Mills site is Beckman Coulters Irish headquarters. The plant is a hub for the development, manufacture and support of reagents (mixtures for use in chemical analysis) for clinical chemistry, immunochemistry and haematology product lines. It also produces products used in testing for Covid-19.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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