The Nationalist
THURSDAY JUNE 23, 2011

The town of Cashel has lost a flagship employer and South Tipperary, home to prestigious pharmaceutical multi nationals, has taken a massive economic hit with the news that Cordis is to close its manufacturing operation in Cashel.

The town of Cashel has lost a flagship employer and South Tipperary, home to prestigious pharmaceutical multi nationals, has taken a massive economic hit with the news that Cordis is to close its manufacturing operation in Cashel.

After the euphoria of the Queen’s visit to the town less than a month later the town of Cashel is plunged into an economic darkness that comes as a devastating blow to the families of the 133 people set to lose their jobs.

Not only will the announcement have a grave impact on those families but also on the families of the people whose jobs in other businesses around the town that were closely linked to the Cordis operation.

Local authority leaders and elected representatives are united in their efforts to persuade Johnson & Johnson to find a replacement industry for the Cashel plant within the company.They must ensure that pressure is maintained on the company and government leaders to see to it that a skilled and very dedicated workforce are utilised and that a very expensive plant remains part of the industrial framework of the town.

The jobs body blow was delivered to Cashel just as the new government was marking 100 days in office.The government cannot be seen to stand idly by at the loss of so many well paid jobs in the town of Cashel and enormous pressure must be brought to bear on government TD Tom Hayes , Minister Richard Bruton and Taoiseach Enda Kenny to try and save the jobs.

Cashel Town Council led by newly elected Mayor Maribel Woods, wasted no time in applying that necessary pressure when they held an emergency meeting last Thursday evening in the town.The mayor said that the town had a marvellous industrial campus which was a very important asset for the town and county and she wanted to work to ensure that it remains part of the industrial fabric of the town.

The County Council Chairman Cllr.Sean McCarthy warned of a “famine of money” in the town as a result of the news and said there were many businesses hanging on by a thread in the current economic climate and this announcement could be the ‘straw that breaks the camels back’.

The members stressed the need to be positive and focused in the face of adversity and a major challenge now confronts the people of Cashel,elected representatives,local authority officials, community leaders and the government.

The Cordis plant in Cashel is a modern plant, assembled at an investment of E100m and is it in a prime location situated midway between Cork and Dublin on the new M8 motorway.

It is essential for the town of Cashel and for the South Tipperary area that these vital jobs are saved.

It is to be hoped that the fallout from this strategic decision by Cordis and its parent company Johnson & Johnson ,to wind down the manufacturing of stents worldwide, can be softened or avoided.

The retention of the jobs in Cashel has to be a priority for the government.The meetings that are being arranged with the Minister and with the company with a view to saving the jobs have to be held immediately.

No time can be wasted and no effort spared in the campaign to hold onto the Cashel jobs and to keep the state of the art plant opened.