Kerry Group, the Irish food maker, plans to make 70 job cuts at its Shillelagh plant in County Wicklow.

The plant makes meat products and currently employs 820 staff at the facility. Director of corporate affairs Frank Hayes said that the company, like most businesses, is facing competitive pressures in the current climate.

"We have progressively grown the business very strongly over the last ten years and it is now very successful," said Hayes. "There is no threat to the long-term future of the company but, as with all businesses at the current time, we have had to look at redundancies to maintain efficiency levels.

Hayes said that some of the plant's output was exported into the UK market and the weakening sterling "made the landscape more competitive".

The company has begun consultations with the staff and the redundancies are expected to be completed in the next two weeks.