“The news that the High Court has made an order winding up five companies of the Whelan group is another huge economic loss to the Mid-West. There is an expectation now that 120 jobs will be lost. This is devastating for the workers involved and their families with just three weeks to Christmas.

The Whelan Group have given employment opportunities to many people in County Clare over the years. This was a family business in existence for almost 40 years. It is with regret that an examinership procedure could not have been secured. I understand though that there are a significant number of creditors attached to the business.

The large fall in construction work in Ireland over the past five years has impacted heavily on many within the industry and Whelans is another casualty of our construction boom and bust.

There are some employees where father and son are working with the group and many of the younger workforce would have significant mortgage repayments. These workers now face financial worries and finding replacement work in the current environment may be difficult.

I would call on all state agencies working in the area to make it a priority to assist and provide services to these workers and their families.

There has been very little comment on this situation publicly. While I acknowledge the fact that creditors will be at a huge loss, we must not lose sight of the fact that 120 families are now facing a very bleak and worrying Christmas.”