Fianna Fáil General Election candidate Cllr. Cathal Crowe has called on the
IDA to enter into discussions with senior management at Roche to see if the
pharma giant would reconsider its decision to close its facility at Clarecastle
following its acquisition of Spark Therapeutics.

Cllr. Crowe explained, “Roche took the decision to close the Clarecastle plant in
2016 as part of a wider restructuring plan and because the plant was
underutilised.  Following Roche’s acquisition
of Spark Therapeutics in recent days, I believe the IDA should now engage with
senior management to see whether there is an opportunity to reverse the
decision to close the Clarecastle site, as it could be used to manufacture new
products.

“Roche has been at the heart of the social and economic fibre of Clarecastle for
almost 40 years and the announcement of its closure was met with widespread
shock and devastation.  The loss of 240
jobs is a huge blow for Clare and people are considering having to move out of the
county to secure work.

“I believe this acquisition provides an opportunity for the IDA to engage with
management at Roche to establish whether the deal with Spark Therapeutics could
mitigate the closure.  Roche will have to
manufacture new products, and there is already an existing facility and a
highly skilled workforce with a proven track record in Clarecastle.

“The jobs situation in Co. Clare is worrying. 
Six out of every ten jobs created over the past 12 months were in the
Greater Dublin Area. Meanwhile, the most recent CSO Labour Force survey has
indicated that there has been zero net jobs growth in the mid-west in the past
12 months.  The government and the IDA
need to step up to the mark to ensure more balanced economic growth.

“This Roche acquisition cannot be ignored. 
The Business Minister and the IDA must engage with management at the company
and put the case to them for continued operations at Clarecastle”, concluded
Cllr. Crowe.