Since the announcement last Thursday that Roche would be divesting interest in their plant in Clarecastle, I have ensured that every effort is being made to find a buyer and help preserve employment at the plant.
I immediately met with the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton in Leinster House. Minister Bruton assured me that every resource available to the State would be used to secure a new investor for the plant.
It should be noted that €100 million has been invested in the Clarecastle plant in the past three years making it a very attractive prospect for potential investors. As well as the state of the art infrastructure, there is a very talented, dedicated and well thought of workforce at Roche who are highly-skilled and committed.
The next six to nine months is a critical period for the plant. It is my understanding that a prospective buyer together with the IDA visited the site last week. I also understand that the IDA will meet corporate level management in the headquarters of Roche in Basel, Switzerland later this week, with a view to coordinating efforts to secure a new investor for the site.
As well as meeting with Minister Bruton, I have spoken with An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and sought his full support in finding a solution to the situation at the Roche plant in Clarecastle. Yesterday morning (16/11/2015), I visited the site in Clarehill and met with Managing Director Gerry Cahill. I have also been in regular contact with the IDA. Every effort will be made by Government and State Agencies in helping to resolve the situation.
Throughout all my contact with the company and Government agencies as well as the workforce, there is optimism that an investor can be located which will secure the future of the site. Ireland is a very attractive place to do business in. We are one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Locally, we have a good news story around Shannon Airport we can shout about, as well as a highly skilled workforce and a pro-business Government.
Over the next weeks and months I will be working closely with the relevant stakeholders with a view to ensuring that a potential investor is located and the future of the site is secured.