Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy has said today’s news of 100 job losses in Athlone comes as a major blow to the local economy and workers, particularly with less than seven weeks to Christmas.

Deputy Troy said: “This is devastating news for Athlone and the workers at Ericsson. The lack of clarity coming from the company and the IDA is also a serious concern today and must be addressed quickly.

“There are already almost 4,000 (3,988) people on the Live Register in Athlone and these job losses will have a major impact on spending and confidence in the town. The fact that this news has broken with just over six weeks to go to Christmas is a major blow and will be causing huge anxiety for the workers at Ericsson and their families.

“I welcome the fact that the company remains committed to its R&D base at Blyry but I will be raising these job losses with the Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton and seeking the immediate establishment of a special taskforce to bring a specific focus to the promotion of the midlands region as an attractive location for new investment. Not enough is being done by this Government to showcase the positive impact the midlands can bring to the wider economy through investment and innovation.”