Hundreds face job losses at Bord na Móna
Midlands communities face a major blow as Bord na Móna is set to announce hundreds of job losses later this month.
Sources said the commercial semi-state company will make a "significant" announcement of up to 500 redundancies shortly.
The job losses are the result of a dramatic shift from peat production to more environmentally friendly forms of energy.
Recently appointed chief executive Tom Donnellan will put his stamp on the company's future when he outlines a plan to decarbonise the business and streamline operations.
A senior union official said he expected at least 200 jobs to go after managers recently told the group of unions of plans to close 17 of the 62 bogs where peat is harvested.
Secretary of the group Willie Noone said job losses were also expected at head office in Newbridge and a plant in Kilberry in Co Kildare which supplies peat to garden centres.
A meeting of the board is due to take place next Thursday and the potential redundancies are expected to be high on the agenda as part of a wider cost-cutting plan.
However, the redundancies are unlikely to be compulsory. It is understood the average age profile at Bord na Móna is in the late 50s and the company is likely to table a voluntary severance deal.