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Last Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006, 12:38 GMT
Jobs go as textiles firm closes
Carrickfergus factory
Textiles firm had been in business for more than 60 years
A textiles company in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, has closed with the loss of 50 jobs.

Flaxall Limited, which prints, dyes and finishes fabric, had been operating for more than 60 years.

The company said it was no longer able to counter overseas competition from low-cost manufacturers.

"In recent months the relentless pressure for lower prices and low cost alternatives led to a dramatic reduction in orders," it said.

"With manufacturing costs rising rapidly and consumer demand continuing to fall, the market can no longer provide the volume of business needed to ensure the company's viability."

It is understood that workers were informed they were losing their jobs on Thursday.

'Cost pressures'

On Friday, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, of the Democratic Unionist Party, urged any organisation who could help save Flaxall, to do so.

"Our thoughts must be with those workers who are losing their jobs, some after working there all their lives, and with their families who may struggle financially in the short term," he said.

Ulster Unionist assembly member Roy Beggs said the closure was a huge blow to the economy.

Alliance party assembly member Sean Neeson called on the economic development organisation, Invest Northern Ireland, to step in to save Flaxall.

Invest Northern Ireland said in a statement: "We have worked with the company in the past and regret the job losses, but understand that it is a commercial decision in line with on-going competitive pressures in the sector."

The job losses are the latest blow to the textile industry which has seen hundreds of redundancies across Northern Ireland in recent years.

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