Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Dara Calleary TD has said that the loss of more than 220 jobs in Dublin and Kerry is a major setback.

Deputy Calleary made the comments as it emerged that Cadbury owner Mondelez will cut 160 jobs at its chocolate manufacturing plants in Rathmore, Co. Kerry and Coolock Co. Dublin. The company is also closing its chewing gum production plant in Tallaght, with a further loss of 45 jobs.

Deputy Calleary commented, “Today’s announcement is a serious blow and will have a really negative impact on the local economy in Kerry and Dublin. It is a difficult time for workers and their families along with the wider community that relies on these jobs. I hope that staff and management at Mondelez can come to an agreement to protect as many jobs as possible.

“Earlier this week CSO figures showed that the pace of progress is slowing. The data showed a worrying decline in labour force participation in 2014 while the rate of job creation has slowed substantially. This latest news clearly shows that the Irish economy is continuing to struggle, especially when it is coupled with the recent announcement by UPC signalling its intention to cut 190 jobs.

“This jobs announcement only serves to underline the shortcomings of the latest ‘Job’s Plan’ launched by Minister Richard Burton last week. As each day passes we have different Ministers falling over each other to launch various different reports and plans on long term job creation. However people are in need of immediate employment, and those that are currently working need to feel secure in their jobs.

“The government are talking up economic recovery while at the same time failing to recognise that many businesses are continuing to struggle on a day to day basis. This latest job loss should serve as a wakeup call for the government. More needs to be done to not only create employment but also protect existing jobs. What the Irish people need is active job creation, not the launch of reports and plans filled with buzzwords” said Deputy Calleary.