Everyone has been left in doubt that the futures of the former Quinn Glass factory at Derrylin and its sister plant in Cheshire are much safer, following the acquisition by Spanish company, Vidrala Gorka Schmitt, the Spanish firm’s Chief Executive, who visited the Derrylin plant last week following the acquisition, repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to the future of the glass plants by saying how they would be investing some 200 million euros over the next five years.

With the furnaces needing to be upgraded over the next few years, the employees would appear to be much happier now than perhaps during the bidding process. The Spanish company won the right to take the former Quinn businesses forward into the future.

The Spanish firm, while being a publicly quoted company on the Spanish stock exchange, closely resembles a family business. More than half of the shareholding remains with the Declaux family who have seen their company grow not only within Spain where there are three production plants, but also in Portugal, Belgium and Italy. Now with two of their most modern and biggest plants in Derrylin and Cheshire, it gives them a 30 per cent of the marketshare of glass products in the United Kingdom and an important foothold.

Gorka Schmitt said there were synergies in Vidrala’ portfolio of businesses which would enable them to take long term decisions.

On a tour of the Derrylin production facility, the chief executive met a large number of employees who take great pride in the manufacture of products, harnessing the skills of a committed local workforce and utilising some local materials.

The fact that the two glass plants are innovative, thanks to the foresight and vision of Sean Quinn, resulted in keen international interest and being part of a major European company which now has a 12 per cent marketshare of glass products, will only help to make the businesses more competitive.

The fact that the trade union, Unite, has backed the acquisition of Encirc by Vidrala, is also a huge step in the process of restoring confidence in this South Fermanagh community.