This afternoon, Roche Ireland informed its 240 employees at its Clarecastle facility of its intention to “exit the site”.
The Irish manufacturing facility was established in 1974 as Syntex Ireland and in 1994 became part of the Pharmaceutical Division of the Roche Group when Roche acquired the Syntex Corporation.
Roche plans to exit four manufacturing sites in all – in South Carolina, Spain, Italy and its Irish site in Clarecastle.
The Company said: “The planned exit results from a review of Roche’s worldwide manufacturing network for small molecules that highlighted current underutilisation as a result of the company’s evolving portfolio. A new generation of specialised medicines based on small molecules requires novel manufacturing technologies and will be produced in lower volumes than traditional medicines.”
Roche has also informed the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the IDA of the proposal to exit Clarecastle.
The company has said it’s committed to working with the Minister and the IDA to seek a buyer for the site.
“Roche will now enter into formal consultation with employees and their representatives. The company is committed to fully engaging with all employees and will provide all the necessary and appropriate support,” a spokesman added.
“In order to minimize job reductions, the company is actively looking into divestment opportunities for these facilities,” the company confirmed.
Clarecastle Fine Gael TD, Joe Carey said: “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.”
Clare Fianna Fáil General Election Candidate, Michael McDonagh said: I am shocked and disappointed to hear of the plans for the closure of the Roche Ireland Plant in Clarecastle, news of which broke this evening. Roche has been a gold standard employer in Co. Clare for over 40 years and employ a great many long serving staff who are no doubt devastated this evening.”
“This closure is reminiscent of the Dell closure in Limerick in 2009, its affects will be felt not only in Clarecastle and Ennis but throughout the county. I would call on Richard Bruton, The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to react swiftly to this news. If he needs to go to Zurich in the morning to meet with Roche executives let him do so, he will have the full backing of every person in Clare to do whatever is needed to save these jobs. If Roche Ireland are determined to close their facility, a new employer to take over the plant must be found as a matter of urgency,” he added.