Wednesday 23 January 2019

Luxury home of the man at centre of food crisis

The home of Robert Hogg in Co Carlow
The home of Robert Hogg in Co Carlow

The boss of the Carlow plant at the centre of the pig meat scare had just returned from his honeymoon as the crisis unfolded.

Robert Hogg, managing director of Millstream Power Recycling, who is in his 40s, lives in this impressive home in Clohamon, on the outskirts of Bunclody, Co Wexford.

He is known to many in the area as one of the larger employers, and also through his sporting interests.

"It is devastating for him and his new wife," a spokesman said.

The well-maintained grounds of the Bunclody Polo Club are on his land adjacent to his home at Clohamon Mills.

The polo enthusiast is also listed as one of the key contacts for the club, which charges a joining fee to members of €1,000 and a further €600 in annual fees.

Neighbours said Mr Hogg had not been seen in the past few days.

A local shopkeeper said he was a "nice man" who provided employment to 40 or 50 people.


He said the recent news was a shock, but added: "I'll still have rashers for breakfast."

The recycling plant used "inappropriate" oil to generate heat to dry the dough used in animal feed and was not licenced by the Environmental Protection Agency.

It did have a permit from Carlow Co Council for recycling waste food.

A spokesman for Millstream Power Recycling said that Mr Hogg was assisting gardai and department officials with their inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the multimillion euro recall of Irish pig meat.

The food recycler was adamant that there was no industrial oil or additives placed in the feed ingredients supplied to the nine pig farms and 38 cattle farms.

The plant recycles stale bread and other unused food products for pig feed.

The company ensures that all paper wrappings and plastic is removed and cleans it before placing it in the dryer.

"They add nothing to it," a spokesman for the firm said.

The drying operation is fuelled by a motor run by oil.

The Department of Agriculture confirmed tests to clarify that the source of the PCB dioxins in the feed had indicated "inappropriate oil" was used at the plant.

The oil was not mixed into the feed ingredients but was used to generate the heat to dry the dough.

Food Safety Authority of Ireland chief executive Alan Reilly said the EU Commission had sought an opinion on the likely health effects of the dioxin contamination.

An opinion had also been requested on the safety of "minor pork products" with a view to establishing whether time should be spent trying to trace products with relatively small quantities of pork in them.

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