Local Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has called for assurances about the future of jobs at Covidien in Athlone following the announcement that the company is being bought by American medical device maker Medtronic in a multi-billion dollar deal.
Deputy Troy said: “On the face of it there doesn’t appear to be much change for workers on the ground here in Athlone but I think the workforce will need assurances. Medtronic is to move its executive headquarters to Ireland and I think this is a very positive announcement. Covidien is a major employer in Athlone supporting hundreds of families and any adverse impact on jobs would have a devastating impact on the local economy.
“Ireland has proven itself to be a world leader in the pharmaceutical sector and it supports thousands of jobs across the country. However Fianna Fáil has been concerned for some time that the Government has taken its eye off the ball and that instability in the pharma sector has led to job losses.
“Covidien has operated its manufacturing facility in Westmeath for over 30 years. It originally opened as Mallinckrodt Laboratories in the early 80s before the Athlone operation became part of Covidien in 2007. The facility, which makes airway management products used in surgical procedures, has grown from 40,000 square feet to over 120,000 square feet.
“Covidien is a major player in Athlone and it is essential that the Government and the relevant State agencies engage with management and its new owners to secure its future operations in the Midlands.”