Cllr Joe Flaherty has welcomed the announcement of the jobs at the new Red Seal project in Longford town but urged the IDA to immediately secure a strategic land bank in the town and actively target a large pharma, engineering or ICT company to the county town.

He said: “I obviously welcome the 100 jobs over three years but bear in mind we lost 170 highly paid mainly engineering jobs when Cameron closed their facility at this site. I am also concerned that the IDA doesn’t have a significant green field site in Longford at the moment which they can market.”

The Red Seal jobs’ announcement come a week after the announcement of 200 jobs at the Avery Dennison plant last week and Cllr Flaherty said: “The Avery Dennison jobs were a real local success story as they grew out of the Finesse Medical project. The Finesse team always had ambitious plans to scale the business and employment numbers over a five year plan and linking up with Avery Dennison gives those plans a new momentum.”

The Fianna Fail councillor also said that it was vital now that pressure was maintained on the IDA to bring a large pharma, engineering or industrial player to the county. He said: “The Red Seal and Avery Dennison jobs need to be taken in context. They are 300 jobs over a three to four year timeline and the one of the key pieces in the Longford recovery remains the delivery of 250-300 highly skilled jobs in the pharma or ICT sector.”

Cllr Flaherty would also pay tribute to local auctioneer, Fintan McGill, who was the first local to come into contact with Red Seal boss, Bob Mann. Said Cllr Flaherty: “Sherry Fitzgerald McGill were engaged by Cameron to sell the Longford site and I know that Fintan worked very closely with Bob Mann to get this over the line. He was the businessman’s first contact with the county and I know he played a key role in convincing Bob Mann and the Red Seal team that Longford was a good location for them.”