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EI to double production facility by 2020

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EI Electronics will undergo a major expansion at their Clare headquarters.

Last year, the company celebrated 55 years in Shannon and 30 years as an Irish owned business, as it looks to the future, EI will expand on it’s workforce of 750 when it doubles their existing production facility.

Speaking at a Shannon Chamber breakfast briefing, Owner of EI Electronics, Michael Guinee outlined their ambition to create a three storey production facility by the end of 2020.

In 2018, the company sold 10 million smoke alarms around the world and are presently exporting to 30 countries. Guinee confirmed that the group turnover is in the region of €200m. Although 66 percent of their foreign market is in the UK, he was confident that regardless of the outcome from Brexit, the company would not be dramatically affected. “We expect to double our revenue to €400 million in the next five years, all our growth is organic”

EI is the biggest employer in the Shannon Free Zone and one of the largest in the Mid-West, the expansion will lead to further additions to their workforce however Guinee was unable to put an exact figure on how many individuals would be hired as a result of the extension.

Over half a century ago, in 1963, General Electric (USA) established a fledgeling Irish manufacturing operation in Shannon, the EI or ‘Emerald Isle’ Company as it was originally known. The 1980s was a period of uncertainty for the company with a significant drop in employment. GE announced it’s plans to close in November 1986 however they soon agreed to a buyout in their Irish interests from management led by then managing director Mick Guinee along with Dr Mike Byrne and Jim Duignan, the company then became EI Electronics.

In 1990, they launched their own brand of smoke alarms into the UK retail market and have been regular supporters of local organisations and events in the region since. “We made the voyage from an Irish company trading internationally to an international company that is proud to be Irish”, Guinee stated.

CEO of Tekelek Europe Ltd and a former employee of EI, Peter McCarthy said at the briefing, “EI is not just a company, it is an institution. You can never leave it. It was the best training ground”. Remarking of EI’s Centre of Excellence, Ian Bolger, co-managing director of Bolger Engineering added, “It is a testament to what can be achieved in what is sometimes considered to be a remote location”.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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