Lisburn wins Coca-Cola factory deal

Coca-Cola has picked Lisburn for its new £53m (€78m) all-island production plant, beating off competition from 60 sites, most in the Irish Republic. Does this bring the Maze Stadium idea one step closer?

  • beano @ StadiumForBelfast

    The bottling plant was one excuse for siting the stadium so far away from the population centre and was part of the proposal put forward by the “Maze Development Committee”.

    Obviously the Coca Cola investment is great news for Northern Ireland, I just wish it hasn’t been associated with the stadium development. In the rest of the world there is a growing backlash against out of town developments and at the same time we’re building a Stadium and if Lisburn get their way a John Lewis department store in this manner.

  • Circles

    I wonder if the great international reputation of our wee prahvance encouraged the Coke head honchos to settle down there – maybe hoping to repat their success from other bottlin plants around the world ( or maybe have a look at

  • Davros

    What is SF’s position on this ? I backed their boycott of Coca cola products and still do.

  • The Devil

    Maybe they just wanted to get closer to their people in Maghaberry.

    ………..the cocacolas right………..

  • fair_deal


    If memory serves the local SF rep Paul Butler was arguing for support for Coca Cola to stay in the constituency.

    Friends of Sinn Fein was also happy to take donations from Coca Cola in the USA despite the An Phoblacht articles/calls for boycotss.

  • Levitas

    Sinn Fein welcomes the investment, but retains the right to exert pressure on Coca Cola to improve the working conditions of their workforce internationally-if the workforce in lisburn had to operate under the conditions of their co-workers in say Columbia I am sure all the “democrats” on this site would be outraged, but if it happens in a far off country to people …well is that ok then?
    By the way just a nice little snippet following the death of John Paul II…the shipyard in Gdansk which was the cradle for the “Solidarity” trade union movement much supported by the late pontiff is now a “non-union” workplace-the private company who now own the yards does not permit trade union membership to its workforce……don’t always wish for something, because you might just get it.

  • Davros

    Sinn Fein welcomes the investment, but retains the right to exert pressure on Coca Cola to improve the working conditions of their workforce internationally-if the workforce in lisburn had to operate under the conditions of their co-workers in say Columbia I am sure all the “democrats” on this site would be outraged, but if it happens in a far off country to people …well is that ok then?

    So, have they called off the boycott then Levitas ?
    I realise it puts SF in a difficult position, but clarification would be useful. For the record , as stated, I have boycotted Coca cola products since reading about SF’s call. But I find this a strange welcome. SF disapprove of PBs – would they welcome a company being set up to manufacture them in NI ?

  • Levitas

    “I have boycotted Coca cola products since reading about SF’s call”

    You are a liar.

  • Davros

    Tut – a temper tantrum from Levitas because of an awkward question:) Nothing new then. I have nothing but diet pepsi and pepsi max mate.

    Has the boycott been called off ?

    Would SF welcome investment for a PB manufacturing plant ?

  • Cirlcles

    As much as some may love to drag this into another SF bashing session (and even though its the 20th time today, it may prove amusing), it is interesting that some are jumping for joy at this latest “development”.
    Unfortunately (for some) Cokes actions internationally are not something that you can simply put down to SF fervour. Coca-cola are basically an international criminal operation who put down any kind of workers movements in any manner they can get away with. Jobs are one thing, but I don’t welcome this at all.

  • Davros

    Circles – I applaud your consistency. I’m not SF bashing, I’m disappointed that they haven’t the courage of their convictions. None of the Unionist parties give a stuff about workers rights.

  • Circles

    Thats another issue – and basically addresses the depth of the “revolutionary spirit” the shinners go on about.
    Of course these matters are of zero concern to the unionist parties – which is ironic as the DUP in particular have their core vote in the working class community.

  • carlosblancos

    It was sad to watch the different manner of the BBC (happy) and RTE (sad) news reporters last night covering this story….North and South fighting over the crumbs of a large multinational. I suppose the one advantage for those in the South who’ve lost their jobs is that it’ll be easier for them to find new positions than it would have been for the Northerners if their plant closed.

  • Davros

    I’m looking forward to asking any SF canvassers that show up if they are still boycotting Coca-Cola 🙂

  • beano;

    Really RTE weren’t happy? Is it not a bit dodgy for nationalists/”fellow Irish” to be begrudging Ulster economic success because it’s… well because it’s not in Ireland?! lol

  • carlosblancos

    Yeah lol beano. Would be funny if so many jobs hadn’t been lost. And no I don’t thinks it dodgy for RTE to reflect on the jobs losses in the South. Or for the BBC to report on jobs gains. Both have a responsibility to their license payers. But a pity BBC weren’t as clear as RTE about where the jobs were going to/coming from.

  • Circles

    Do you drink Coke or coca-cola company products davros?
    Just wondering – it would be good to know that if you were planning on rattling a canvassers cage that it was out of principal and not pettiness.

  • Davros

    Circles – it’s been 9 months since I drank Coke or any coke product – and that was while on an all night vigil in a Hospital A&E ward with the only vending machine not offering an alternative.

  • Occasional Commenter

    I assume you’re implying that there are products of the Coca Cola company that Davros might have consumed accidentally. Is this the case? If so, can you tell us what products you are referring to? Or did you know about Davros in the hospital?

  • beano;

    carlos – the BBC don’t have to care about the Irish Republic, it’s not part of their job. Now my question is whether RTE, as “Ireland’s” state broadcaster, are sad that the site chosen was in Lisburn and not in the South, and if so why?

  • El Matador

    Spin Féin claim to boycott Coke, yet let me quote TWO of their elected representatives from last night’s joint Spin Féin statement:

    “It will be a relief for those who are currently employed in the Lambeg site near Lisburn that the Coca-Cola company has declared its intention to invest £54 million over the next l8 months in a new facility nearby.”

    I think this sums up the duplicity of Spin Féin. You cannot campaign against something on one hand, yet support it on the other.

    It’s like abstaining from Westminster, but sitting in an instrument of the Imperial Parliament (the NI Assembly).

    Or saying ‘Collusion is State Murder’ yet engaging in Garda collusion, and saying that reciprocal killings by the IRA are not murder and the ‘war’ was justified. Either killings in the troubles were murder or weren’t murder. SF yet again maintain double standards.

  • Davros

    Occ C – a lot of people don’t realise just how many products are linked to Coke. Fanta, lilt, Kia Ora, Sprite, Oasis, Just Juice etc


  • Davros

    El Matador – as a party originally based in the Labour tradition, it’s shameful IMO that the SDLP haven’t endorsed the boycott of Coca Cola products.

  • beano;

    I’m tempted to begin boycotting Coca-Cola since fair_deal’s revelations above that they’ve donated to Friends of Sinn Fein.

  • Davros

    Had you not heard that before beano ? At the time it caused a bit of a row 🙂 oddly enough, despite their boycott, SF here didn’t reprimand FOSF 😉

  • carlosblancos

    As you righly pointed out RTE is Ireland’s ‘state’ broadcaster. Unfortunately Lisburn doesn’t come under Dublin juristiction so perhaps thats why they took the angle.

    In any case, RTE highlighted the real issue about pandering to multinationals while BBC pathetically boasted about literally a few bottle washing jobs.

  • beano;

    The territory doesn’t come under Dublin jurisdiction, but with article 2 granting the right of all people in the ‘island of Ireland’ to Irish citizenship, combined with RTE’s broadcasting (and therefore increased advertising revenue) on Sky and NTL in NI, shouldn’t they be at least ambivalent to the location of the islands single bottling plant?

    Or are RTE just partitionist?

  • beano;

    And by the way Carlos, was the BBC’s and Lisburn’s main reason to celebrate not about hanging on to the jobs currently in Lambeg at least as much as, if not more than, the extra jobs that will be present there?

    I fail to see why BBC Northern Ireland shouldn’t reflect the happiness of people in Northern Ireland that their jobs, which could potentially have gone to the Republic, have been saved. This will take some considerable investment in Lisburn.

    If RTE are unhappy that there are job losses, should they not have raised this issue when the relocation to one plant was announced way back – I mean I remember I found out about it months ago while doing research into the Stadium For Belfast campaign.

  • Circles

    Davros – wasn’t an accusation earlier, I was honestly just wondering. Thanks for the reply:o)

    El Mat – I’m in full agreement with Davros when he says “as a party originally based in the Labour tradition, it’s shameful IMO that the SDLP haven’t endorsed the boycott of Coca Cola products” especially given the proud history of the party in the civil rights movement. Does the party have a line at all on Coke (if you’ll pardon the pun)?

  • Davros

    Davros – wasn’t an accusation earlier, I was honestly just wondering. Thanks for the reply:o)

    You are welcome 🙂

  • carlosblancos

    Beano, its clear you’d like RTE to be partionist but thankfully they aren’t.

    “I fail to see why BBC Northern Ireland shouldn’t reflect the happiness of people in Northern Ireland that their jobs”

    I agree with you. Of course they should. But they should also try to highlight the long term unsustainability of such an economic strategy. The Celtic Tiger wasn’t built by hoping that companies with two locations on the island of Ireland would downsize to one location south of the border.

    What I’d like to see is proper economic analysis from the BBC. But I suppose when we lack a solid economic policy I accept that’d be difficult.

  • beano;

    How do you prevent multinationals from downsizing if they think they can increase their efficiency by cutting costs?

    Coke have said for months they would reduce their operations to one plant, the new story here is just that it will be located in Lisburn rather than one of the other sites.

    What sort of economic analysis do you want from BBC Northern Ireland other than “more jobs = good”?

  • Circles

    I admit – I wouldn’t expect much more of an analysis from the BBC than the simplistic “more jobs = good”.
    The mentioning of the Celtic Tiger always provokes a bit of a laugh. The neo-liberal Celtic Tiger isn’t really anything you’d want to keep alive – its a farce where the market must be obeyed and people are secondary. Obey the tiger or you’ll get nothing to eat.

  • carlosblancos

    Thats true Circles. We should pray the Celtic Tiger dissappears so we can, once again, all go and work in England or illegally in the US/Austrailia.

    Then we’d definetly be making sure the market wasn’t in charge and we’d all be happy a million miles from home.

    Grow up.

  • carlosblancos


    I’d expect a summary of what role don’tInvest Northern Ireland had in this. And what, exactly beyong ‘give companies money to locate here’ is their strategy to attract long term sustainable investment.

    Simple fact = Strong economies are not built on call centres and distribution warehousing.

  • Circles

    Well thanks for that great lesson in economics Charlie White, but I think you’re completely missing the point.
    It seems like the Celtic Tiger is the new Golden Calf – but letting the market loose and seducing companies in with tax relief and lax workers rights is not a sustainable basis upon which to build an economy. Its typical Leinster house poltics though – try and get as quick and answer as possible, have something to show for the present, and let the poor suckers of tomorrow worry about it when its their turn.

    Which is why i completely agree with your second post.

  • George

    you seem to be underestimating the level of change in the Irish Republic thanks to the booming economy of the last decade.

    It has the highest birth rate and is projected to have the second fastest population growth rate in Europe between now and 2050.

    I remember asking my elderly auntie a few years ago what she thought of the Celtic Tiger. She replied simply: “At least the people can stay now.”

    And it is as simple as that. As someone who emigrated along with 80% of my class as late as 1992 I can tell you this matters to an awful to Irish people.

    Don’t forget the late 80s and the election posters with a photo of an Irish passport with the caption “Your passport to a job”.

    The Celtic Tiger has killed the century and a half long scourge of mass emigration and for that alone most Irish people wouldn’t change it for the world.

    At least many people who are looking for change or complaining about inequity are looking and complaining in Ireland rather than thousands of miles away in a foreign country.

  • carlosblancos

    lol Circles. Charlie White is pretty close…

    I think we agree much more than we disagree. I do think that economic performance has a lot to do with expectation/attitude and the expectation/attidtude today in the Republic is for growth which it hadn’t been for decades. I also thing that net migration is a positive.

    However, I would be foolish to ignore the disadvantages of the Celtic Tiger; inflated house prices, creaking infrastructure, a 3rd world health service, a classist education system. But I feel that arugment belongs to another post.

  • Circles

    Fair points George.

  • Circle

    and fair enough there too Karl Weiss

  • idunnomeself

    the Coca Cola operation is locally owned, not a multi national. They buy a liscence off Coca Cola international (and in return get big lumps of secret ingredient x or whatever it is called). They then mix it with water, fizz it up, bottle, market and distribute it.


    And so boycotting them will have no effect on Coca Cola in Columbia.

    I’ve a friend who works there, his job isn’t moving to Dublin, so he is happy. They are good jobs, not fly by night call centre types.

    So there you go- most of the previous comments might need rethought!