Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry has described the closure of the GSK Stiefel plant in Finisklin as a huge blow for Sligo and the North West.

The company announced this morning that it is to wind down operations between now and 2021, with the loss of 155 jobs and 10 contract posts.

Deputy Mac Sharry commented, “My thoughts go out to the workers and their families today.  This is devastating news for them.

“The impact of these phased job losses over the coming years cannot be underestimated. This company has been a feature of the local community for over four decades and has been a major employer in the region.  There is no doubt that these workers and their families are worried for their future given the uncertainty of this announcement.

“I am calling on the Taoiseach and the Jobs Minister Heather Humphreys to engage with management to establish if there are any circumstances by which the company could continue its operations in Sligo.

“They also need to set up specific supports for these workers.  They will crucially need the opportunity to retrain and apply for other roles in their local community.

“These latest losses must act as a wake-up call for this government that investment is urgently needed in this region.  PR launches and rehashed action plans are not enough.  There needs to be a realisation that there is life beyond the capital and targeted investment in jobs and services is essential to improve the lives of people living in the regions”.