Fianna Fáil Dublin Spokesperson on Darragh O’Brien has described the announcement that MSD in Swords is to close with the loss of 570 jobs is “a hammer blow for north Dublin.”

Senator O’Brien said: “MSD is a major employer in the area and these are highly skilled jobs so the closure of the plant would be a huge loss.  My thoughts are with the workers and their families at the moment with this news coming just weeks before Christmas.

“MSD’s operations in Swords centre on manufacturing for psychiatry, health and anaesthesia.  The fact that today’s announcement will not see the plant cease all operations until the end of 2017 means there is time for the Government to engage proactively in sourcing alternative investment or a potential buyer for the plant.

“I am calling on the government to ensure the state agencies, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, backed-up by support from Minister Richard Bruton, to get involved immediately.  There is a lot of expertise at this facility in the pharmaceutical and life sciences area.  They need to look at the plant itself, the physical assets as well as the workforce which is as good as any in the world and use this opportunity over the coming months to highlight that message to alternative investors.

“We need to remember that we’re not just looking at 570 jobs under threat here, we’re looking at each family behind each job and the knock-on effect of these job losses could be several hundred more jobs lost in terms of the hit to the local economy.”