The Jacob Fruitfield Food Group has set out plans to restructure its manufacturing operations, which will lead to the closure of its biscuit factory near Dublin with the loss of 220 jobs.

Company chairman Michael Carey regretted the redundancies but said they were unavoidable because the factory at Tallaght had become "extremely uncompetitive with outdated manufacturing equipment".

He said: "It was built in the 1970s and has been operating for many years at just 16% of its full capacity."

Peadar Nolan, assistant branch organiser of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), said it was seeking an urgent meeting with the company to "explore the possibility of retaining the manufacturing jobs in Ireland". It also wants to meet Enterprise Minister Michael Martin to express its concern over the planned closure.

Jacob Fruitfield said its sales, marketing and administration would still be located in Tallaght but manufacturing would be transferred to other facilities in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Jacob’s Wafers will continue to be produced at Gweedore in County Donegal, with premium biscuits made in Cork where investment is planned.