27 January 2017
Enniskillen - Desmonds
Desmond and Sons was a Drumahoe-headquartered clothing company. Founded in 1885, it was Northern Ireland's largest private sector manufacturing employer, with over 3,000 staff across ten textile factories.
Dangerously, since the 1960s Desmonds' sole customer was the retailer Marks and Spencer. In its final five years the company moved all its manufacturing operations to joint venture facilities in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.
The Enniskillen factory closed in 2000. In 2004 M&S switched to direct supply from the overseas suppliers, and Desmonds went into liquidation. The 4.6 acre site is due to be levelled and redeveloped for housing.