It is understood that a “substantial” offer was made to purchase the business and a vote was taken by the board of management at the company’s headquarters in Nenagh in Co Tipperary.

News of the reported sale of Arrabawn’s liquid milk plant has been described as a massive blow to the workforce, their families and local suppliers.

Arrabawn’s liquid milk plant opened in the village of Kilconnell in the 1960s and has undergone extensive modernisation in recent years.

Earlier this week a spokesperson for the company said Arrabawn was exploring best options for its operations due to the “challenging” nature of the liquid milk market.

However the plant was described as a “best-in-class” facility.

Local TD Denis Naughten said the news would come as a huge blow to the staff employed both directly and indirectly, their families, particularly at a time of such economic uncertainty, as well as a vast part of the rural economy of East Galway.

He said all options need to be explored to try to retain processing capacity and jobs in the village of Kilconnell.

A meeting is now being sought with the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.