Looking back... Whiteabbey abattoir was one of the most modern in Europe

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Prime Minister Captain Terence O’Neill was to open a refurbished abattoir in Whiteabbey in December 1965.

The Norbac factory was owned by British Beef and employed 400 workers.

According to the East Antrim Times, it was regarded as one of the most up-to-date in Europe, particularly the chilling and cooling sections and line handling.

The facility had the capacity to slaughter 5,000 pigs, 5,000 lambs and 1,500 cattle weekly.

The processing operation was reportedly among the “most modern in the world”.

There was also on-site accommodation for vets who were required to be in attendance.

Norbac had been a major employer in Newtownabbey for the past nine years. The majority of the workforce was local.

The cost of modernising the plant was £750,000.

The company was involved in the export of pork to Canada.

General manager George Cook said that although there were jobs for butchers, there was a shortage of these tradesmen.

“There are jobs for butchers, if only we could get them,” he commented.