• The death has taken place of Pakistani businessman Sher Mohammed Rafique, who ran a number of meat plants across Ireland, and first brought Muslim workers to Ballyhaunis.

    Mr Rafique opened Halal Meats in the 1970's, with its headquarters in Ballyhaunis.

    The company later became United Meat Packers - the second-largest meat processing firm in the country.

    The Pakistani-born entrepreneur moved to Scotland following a disastrous fire at the UMP intervention store in Ballaghadereen in 1992.

    He later returned to Mayo to try and improve the living and social conditions of the growing Muslim population, and campaigned for housing, better education and playground facilities for those whose ancestors he first brought to live and work in Ballyhaunis.

    Mr Rafique, who was in his mid-80's, passed away in hospital yesterday and his funeral will take place today.

    His remains will repose at the Mosque on Clare Street, Ballyhaunis which is open to the public from 10am to 12 noon, to allow people to pay their respects.

    Following a service at 2pm, he will be laid to rest in the Muslim section of Ballyhaunis cemetery.