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McDonald's Irish beef

FAST food giant McDonald's increased exports of Irish beef to its restaurants in Europe by 37pc to €110m last year.

Some 40,000 tonnes of beef are exported to McDonald's restaurants every year, while 5,000 tonnes -- or €6.5m worth -- of Irish beef are used in Ireland.

The amount exported has risen from €80m in 2007, according to the company which employs almost 4,000 staff.

Managing director of McDonald's Restaurants of Ireland, John Atherton, said the group is the single largest purchaser of Irish beef.

One in every five burgers sold in the European chain are of Irish origin, Mr Atherton said.