There has been vociferous mounting pressure from Government and indeed opposition public representatives over the seeking of replacement industry for the APTAR workforce and plant in the Creagh IDA Business Park.
Since the Summer announcement of impending closure and confirmation in October that all jobs are lost; the Government pledged first support for the plant and then a commitment to spearhead a swift response to find a replacement industry.
Claire Kerrane T.D. was first out of the traps in the Dáil in early summer but more locally Cllr. Evelyn Parsons proposed to Director of Services , Mr. Hanrahan in September that he would liaise with the Director of Community, Enterprise and Economic Development and ask that contact be made with both Enterprise Ireland and the I.D.A with a view to relaying and discussing the impact which the closure has had. All the members of the MDC expressed concern for the employees who have been affected by Aptar’s closure and the knock on impact which the closure is having.
Deputy Denis Naughten TD has recently challenged the Tainiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar T.D. on the need for him to take personal ownership of actions to secure replacement jobs.
“Since last June I have consistently highlighted the need for a pro-active approach to be taken by Government,” explained Denis Naughten. “I am disappointed that not only has the Government been unable to save the Aptar operation and protect local jobs, but I fail to see what measures have been taken over the last two months to help secure alternative sources of employment for the 115 workers .I have again pressed the Tánaiste to chair a meeting of all State agencies, as well as the two Local Authorities in Galway and Roscommon, to implement a co-ordinated strategy for Ballinasloe”, stated Denis.
Meanwhile Senator Aisling Dolan has confirmed that the Tánaiste will host a video call with relevant State agencies and local authorities focusing on investment and job creation locally.
Senator Aisling Dolan stated “I have been in constant communication with the Tánaiste and he acknowledged my concerns when speaking in the Dáil this week and confirmed that Ballinasloe is a priority for the Government. I look forward to welcoming him again to town when public health conditions allow.”
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, said: “I know that Aisling has been working hard on this issue over the past few months and engaging with my Department and IDA officials. The job losses are very disappointing but Ballinasloe has a lot to offer and I have asked our agencies, particularly the IDA, to work on creating new employment opportunities in the area.”
“With a scale of over 65,000 sq ft for future investment, it is one of few sites of this size in the country and Ballinasloe is the perfect location for FDI investment off the M6 motorway and only an hour and 20 minutes to Dublin airport. We have skilled graduates and access to third level expertise with Athlone IT as part of a new Technological University (TU) on our doorstep. We are focused on future industries such as life sciences, healthcare and medtech industries “ , concluded Senator Aisling Dolan.
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