Fianna Fáil Wicklow Cllr Pat Casey has expressed his shock and disappointment at the announcement today that the MSD plant in Wicklow is to shut with the loss of 280 jobs.
Cllr Casey commented: “Pharmaceutical companies have been a major employer in Rathdrum since 1961 and it is a huge shock to hear that the plant will be closed by 2015.
“My thoughts are with the workers and their families at this difficult time. There is a duty now on MSD to find alternative employment for workers at their other plants where possible. The Government TDs in the constituency must also put pressure on Minister Richard Bruton to make Wicklow a priority for investment and Government resources.
“This is a huge blow to the economy in Wicklow and questions must be asked as to what was done to save the plant. The 280 jobs are vital for Rathdrum and countless more spin-off jobs depend on the plant, we need a concerted effort to find alternative employment for the MSD workers and to encourage further investment in Rathdrum.
“As Chairman of Wicklow County Council, I have been working with the County Manager today and we will approach MSD with a view to establishing a taskforce to address the job losses and find an alternative employer for the site. The taskforce will seek input from all the relevant stakeholders and I hope the IDA and Minister Bruton also come on board.
“I also hope to convene a special meeting of Wicklow County Council in the coming weeks to address the fallout from the job losses.
“I am calling on the IDA to do everything in its power to seek new investment for Wicklow, we had only 6 IDA sponsored site visits in the county last year and it is clear more needs to be done to attract business here.
“The pharmaceutical sector is strong in Ireland and the IDA should look at attracting similar companies to Wicklow, which will soon have an abundance of highly skilled staff seeking employment.”