Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson, Niall Collins has said that once again Minister Mitchell O’Connor has been slow to fulfil her role, and protect Irish jobs.

Deputy Collins was commenting after it became clear that the Minister only spoke with the management last week, and that no meetings took place between her, or her officials, and the company since last October.

“The Minister should spell out at what stage she realised that jobs were at risk, at what stage did she seek to engage with the management, and ensure that every effort was made to secure the future viability of the company and the jobs.

“What’s startling is that after those discussions in October, the Minister led a trade mission to San Francisco, and met over 40 companies.

“Did the Minister seek a meeting with HP global management while in California? If not, why not?

“Hewlett Packard Inc is a major employer in Kildare and Meath. 500 families are now worried for their futures as a result of this announcement.

“The Minister has a dual role: enticing new enterprises to establish, be they multinationals or indigenous companies, and ensuring that those supporting employment here in Ireland are supported to stay and maintain jobs.

“What’s now clear is that the Minister is more interested in making jobs announcements rather than doing what needs to be done to protect jobs.

“As the threat of Brexit increases, the Minister needs to up her game, engage with all large employers who may face pressure, and use the full spectrum of state interventions to protect jobs.

“The hard won employment increases cannot be let unravel as a result of Ministerial inaction,” concluded Collins.