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Feb 28th

Element Six said the Shannon operation, which operated a central marketing and technical support unit, was the most expensive manufacturing unit in the entire global operation.

A statement from the company read: 'Despite a series of cost reduction programmes in the past few years, continued production at the Shannon site is no longer sustainable or viable, and the primary business it serves is loss-making.

'The current economic downturn has simply served to exacerbate these challenges.

'This is a highly regrettable decision for Element Six and a number of alternatives were considered at length.

'Management will commence the process of winding down the manufacturing and distribution operations to effect closure by around year end.'