Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry has described as devastating, the announcement that the Elanco facility in Sligo is to close with the loss of around 100 jobs. The company has cited competitiveness as the main reason for the decision.
Senator Mac Sharry commented, “The loss of these jobs will be a huge blow to the North West region. This facility has been operating in Sligo since 1991 and has been a major employer in the town. It’s less than a year since the company embarked on a restructuring programme and despite my call for Minister Richard Bruton to set up a taskforce to engage with the company in a bid to retain the jobs, no such efforts were forthcoming.
“This is a particularly difficult time for the workers and their families and the closure will have a significant impact on the local economy. Unfortunately these job losses are the result of this Government’s failure to prioritise the regions. Fine Gael and Labour have spent the past five years targeting job creation in the Greater Dublin area, at the expense of the North West. In the last year there were a total of 28 IDA site visits across Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. Cavan is the only county in the country were no site visit was recorded in 2015. In contrast, there were 242 visits in Dublin alone.
“This Government’s attitude to job creation in the regions is scandalous. Fine Gael and Labour are trying to convince people that there’s a recovery but the fact of the matter is that there were more jobs losses at IDA companies in Sligo in the last year than there were jobs created. The IDA is a major asset to this country in attracting foreign direct investment to this region, however this Government has failed to liaise with these companies to maintain competiveness and secure their future here.
“Today’s announcement is a damning indictment of Fine Gael and Labour’s attitude to the regions. We now have a situation where around 100 families have to reconsider their future. The Government should spend less time and money on glossy PR launches and instead focus on tackling issues such as competitiveness in order to protect existing jobs and future investment opportunities.
“I am calling on the Minister and the IDA to engage with the company to establish what can be done for the affected workers and their families and to ensure that they are assisted in finding alternative employment opportunities in the region”.