Last month, we put out a message on our website and on social media about our previous premises, a building we moved out of last year. It has 2,000 ft² of cleanroom space as well as other facilities suitable for medical device production. We offered this building free of charge to anyone who could use it to help Ireland’s fight against COVID-19.
A new company took up the offer and the facility will soon be operational, manufacturing facemasks. This enhanced domestic production of masks will reduce Ireland’s reliance on imports.
Ger O’Carroll, Director at Arrotek, said: “It is fantastic that our previous facility in Sligo will now be used for a purpose that will help the entire country today and into the future as we take on the challenge of COVID-19.
“It has taken a country-wide effort to get to where we are now as a nation. That collective effort will need to continue as we get and then maintain control of the virus. We at Arrotek are delighted we’ve been able to contribute, and we wish the new mask manufacturing venture every success.”
The new company is being established by businessman Neil Sands and his brother Kevin. Called measc.ie, it will manufacture masks to increase availability throughout Ireland, making the country self-sufficient in mask production.
Measc.ie plans to sell the masks it manufactures at cost price.
In an interview with the Irish Times, Neil Sands said: “The idea is that wearing a mask protects those around us. The word measc, comes from the Irish word meas, which means respect.”
The company is currently sourcing the equipment required to manufacture masks as well as raw materials. It is also looking to build on the relationship with Arrotek by developing new arrangements and partnerships with other Irish businesses, particularly those who can supply the materials required for mask production.