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O’Brien questions benefit of skills audit to older members of Molex workforce

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*Cllr Tony O’Brien. Photograph: Martin Connolly

Older employees at Molex may not reap as many benefits as their younger colleagues in the skills audit that is to be carried out among its Shannon workforce, an East Clare councillor has warned.

Speaking at Friday’s special meeting of Clare County Council, Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) responded to Junior Minister Pat Breen’s (FG) comments that there was no jobs crisis despite looming losses at Molex, Avara, Roche and Moneypoint by issuing a word of caution.

O’Brien admitted that he appreciated the need to send out positive messages about the county for potential investors but was worried regarding the older workers at Molex. “In all the hope and optimism I want to say a word of caution, Minister Breen is in charge at cabinet butnobody has mentioned the vintage of people like myself who are untrainable and may not be able to get new skills”.

“I would like some assurances for workers in these factories. Many of them have given a lifetime of service, I don’t think they deserve to be left behind,” the Killaloe representative added.

Cllr Roisin Garvey (GP) disagreed with the views of Cllr O’Brien and felt the audit could be enhanced by bringing in organisations such as Clare Local Development Company or LEADER to put together courses based on the needs outlined in the skills audit. “My father learned to make jam at 75, if people want to adjust and learn they can”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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