Ceimici Teoranta (1938) > Belco Sports Ltd/Belco Products Ltd (1984-Present) > ULTRAPURE Laboratories® Ltd (2019-Present)

Ceimici Teoranta. (1938)

Our site here in Corroy County Mayo is filled with history. To find out more we spoke with Sean Bourke who worked on the premises when it was owned and operated by Ceimici Teoranta, a factory making alcohol from potato starch. Sean kindly spoke with us to explain the history and generations of locals that made up our company history. Here's what he had to say...

“Ceimici Teoranta first opened its site here in 1938 (See Photo A). It closed in 1939 and re-opened again after the war in the 1940s. Starch was still being made from potatoes after the war but at some stage, the focus changed to buying starch that was brought into Ballina Harbour by sea freight. There was a customs house on site when they were making the alcohol and entry and exits to the site were carefully monitored.”

“Potatoes were brought in from all over by donkey and cart, horse and cart and by lorry from Donegal. From memory, farmers used to get £7.00 per tonne for the potatoes.”

“Extra seasonal workers would have been hired during potato harvest time. The potatoes were stored in large bunkers in the ground. I began working here in the factory in the 1960s and stayed on as an employee for 10 years. At that time there would have been around 50 employees on the team. Hugh Devlin, Eamon Flanagan, and Jack O’Keefe were some of the company bosses.”

“I worked as part of a team making and mixing the glucose. There were three tanks and three shifts in 24 hours. 75 tonnes of glucose was produced every 24 hours. Starch, water and acid were added to the vats and mixed and boiled until reduced to a syrup.”

“The ‘big chimney’, part of the site which is in part still visible (See Photo B) was the heating source for the starch, water and acid to make the glucose syrup (not powder). The glucose was sold in 45-gallon drums and also in big containers. Some of which were sent by freight train to Dublin. The bricks for this all-important chimney came from Holland. A German man (See Photo C) came to build it with the help of some local men, two of which were the father and grandfather of the late David Bourke who worked in the ULTRAPURE team until June 2022. It’s possible that the land on which the Ceimici site was built was owned by David Bourke’s grandfather. The glucose factory closed in 1982 with the loss of approximately 50 jobs.”

Belco Sports Ltd. - Belco Products Ltd.
(1984 - Present)

In 1984 the sited was purchased by Vincent Dempsey and two colleagues. Belco Sports Ltd began manufacturing PVC footballs, play balls and road traffic cones on site.

The business expanded significantly over the subsequent 25 years, successfully supplying footballs throughout UK and Europe with an average employment of 50 people at peak production times and the creation of much-needed summer work for locals in the late eighties and nineties. This next group of local employees, employed by Belco were second generation of those who had previously worked in Ceimici. Belco Sports Ltd no longer manufactures on-site but is still trading under the name  Belco Products Ltd.

ULTRAPURE Laboratories® Ltd.
(2019 - Present)

The ULTRAPURE family business was set up circa 1988 by Vincent Dempsey. When John Dempsey (Vincent’s son) was a teenager the company started out producing five to six gallons of purified water per week for local business’s. The demand for purified water took off and the company grew from there, innovating and producing product solutions for in-demand niches. John has since played a leading role in the company’s growth and expansion to date and is the current company owner.

In 2012 ULTRAPURE Laboratories® was registered as a limited company and purchased the main factory in Corroy in 2019. Planning permission was obtained from Mayo County Council for renovations to the existing warehouses including new offices and a state-of-the-art production facility circa 35,000 square feet (See Photo D).

Today, ULTRAPURE Laboratories® Ltd. produces an impressive range of Guaranteed Irish natural muscle recovery, skincare and wellness products available in Pharmacies and Health Stores in Ireland. The most popular products are Epsom Salts, Epsom Salts Gel, Rose Water and Witch Hazel Facial Toners.

A sister division of the company ‘Contract Formulations’ produces, formulates and fills products on-site for leading supermarket chains and other well-known consumer wellness brands.

“Currently employing over 20 staff, ULTRAPURE Laboratories® Ltd is proudly ISO and GMP certified by the National Standards of Ireland. With growth as the focus, we have exciting plans ahead for our future as Ireland’s leading natural wellness essentials brand”. John Dempsey (Owner)

Photos D – Our state-of-the-art production facility.