My thoughts are very much with the workers of Roche and their families at this difficult and uncertain time. I know many of the workforce personally as well as their extended families.

The announcement by Roche that it is planning to exit the site and market it to alternative investors has come as a shock to everyone in Clarecastle. The plant has made such a huge contribution to Clarecastle, County Clare and the entire Mid-West Region, for the past 40 years.

I met with Minister Richard Bruton this evening, following this announcement, and he gave me an assurance that every effort will be made to support Roche and its workers in finding an alternative investor. The State enterprise agencies have a strong track record in finding alternative investors for plants in similar positions and in particular where there is a long lead-in time. Roche has confirmed they are not planning to exit the site for three years.

I am committed to doing everything in my power, as well as working alongside Minister Bruton, as well as the IDA, to secure a buyer for the site