Medtech BD to cut 60 jobs in Drogheda as part of ‘right-sizing’ plan

3 Jul 2023

Image: © JHVEPhoto/

BD, which only last month announced hiring plans for Wexford, said it has to reduce production lines in Drogheda due to demand shifts and other business reasons.

BD, a multinational medtech company that has been an employer in Drogheda, Co Louth for decades, is planning to cut up to 60 jobs in the area.

The company said in a statement that its Drogheda manufacturing plant currently employs “approximately 235 people”. The total number of staff the company employs across all four of its locations in Ireland is around 1,100.

The Louth layoffs come just a month after BD announced it is planning to create 85 new roles at its Wexford manufacturing plant. At the time of that announcement, the company’s EMEA president Roland Goette spoke of the company’s “long-term commitment” to Ireland.

BD’s recent expansion plan in Wexford is being supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland. It also invested €4m into a new R&D facility in Blackrock in Dublin. As well as its sites in Drogheda, Dublin and Wexford, the company has a plant in Limerick.

BD’s statement on the plans to cut jobs said that the company still intends to hire in Wexford despite the Drogheda cuts. The statement, by Troy Kirkpatrick, VP of public relations and reputation management at BD, claimed the decision to reduce its workforce in Drogheda is “a difficult strategic decision” and it “is not a reflection on the performance of the site.”

“The site has met our operational expectations, but other business factors drove these actions. BD remains committed to growing in Ireland and intends to continue investing in its facilities across the country.”

The other business factors the company identified include a change in demand for certain products during the pandemic.

“Over the last several years during the Covid pandemic, the world experienced extreme shifts in demand for certain products. This affected BD in two ways – extremely high demand for products used on Covid patients and lessened demand for products that were not used when non-critical procedures were suspended to increase capacity for Covid patients.”

Kirkpatrick’s statement added that as demand “begins to normalise coming out of Covid” the company will be trimming its operations to “realign current inventory and future demand”. The statement referred to the headcount changes as “right-sizing”.

As well as changes in demand for products, Kirkpatrick said BD’s Drogheda site has been manufacturing components for its diabetes care-related manufacturing spin-out Embecta since April 2022. Embecta has operations in Dún Laoghaire and it will be taking responsibility for manufacturing those components, resulting in the reduction of a production line in Drogheda.

“These combined factors will result in a targeted reduction of 60 positions in Drogheda over the course of 15 months to right-size its manufacturing operations with today’s realities,” said Kirkpatrick. He added that those affected by the layoff news would receive “compassion and support.”

“Given the length of the time, BD expects natural attrition and retirements to reduce the number of employees actually affected.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.