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*Photograph: Martin Connolly

Securing a replacement for Roche has been labelled “a lost cause” by Independent TD, Dr. Michael Harty.

Last month, The Clare Echo reported that the closure of the Clarecastle site had been delayed by a period between three to six months. In November 2015, Roche Ireland confirmed it was to exit the Co Clare plant after forty one years. A phase-out of production began in July 2016 when the search for a buyer of the site proved to be unsuccessful.

In a statement to The Clare Echo, Harty said “a lost cause” is “the only reasonable conclusion one can draw from the statement by Business Minister Heather Humphreys who told me in answer to a Dáil question despite all the efforts by the IDA since the announcement was made to close in 2015, no offer has been made for the site”.

He continued, “The company has already written to the local community detailing the wind down of its operations by mid 2020, put the two together and it can only mean its curtains for Roche in Clarecastle. I welcome the jobs that have been announced recently but we still have an unemployment rate of 7.2% in the mid-west which is above the national average. I also welcome the Minister’s plan to address new job creation in this region by the end of 2020. Even if successful, we are only playing catch up with the rest of the country”.

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