Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary, Jackie Cahill has said that questions need to be asked about the role of the Minister for Jobs and Enterprise as 210 former Procter & Gamble employees have been made redundant less than 18 months after the factory was sold to Coty.

“First and foremost, my heart goes out to the 210 staff members, and their facilities, many of whom have been working in the factory for over 20 years.

“P&G was a major employer in the Nenagh, and North Tipp areas; they provided good quality, well-paying jobs that were the life blood of the local economy for decades.

“However, I have serious doubts about the role that Minister Mitchell O’Connor is playing in protecting Irish jobs from the threat of relocation.

“Last month, I raised the future of the plant with the Minister via a PQ, and got a one line response saying that ‘ownership of this facility changed recently and IDA Ireland is working with the senior management of the new company in order assess potential future developments.’

“What happened in the four weeks between answering that PQ, and the decision today to close the factory?

“We have now been informed that the business will now transfer to Ashford and Hunt Valley in the UK. How is it that we are losing jobs to the UK, and why has the Minister not intervened?

“Yesterday, we saw reports that the Minister was focused on generating good PR in Tipperary for herself, and the Department.

“My question is why ‘weren’t the Minister and her team focused on working with the senior management of Coty to protect the jobs?’

“Was the Minister aware that this decision was coming down the tracks; what proposals did she, and the IDA, make to help keep the jobs in North Tipperary?

“The staff must now be must be given every support possible as decisions are made about voluntary redundancies.

“These job losses will undoubtedly have a wider knock on effect on the local Mid-West economy. The Government needs to ensure that workers are given the support they need to find alternative employment, as quickly as possible,” concluded Cahill.