Pharma jobs blow sees hundreds affected in Ennis and Clonmel

18 May 2016

The six-month battle to save 240 jobs at the soon-to-be-discarded Roche facility in Ennis has proved unsuccessful, with no rival pharma company taking on the site. And news from Tipperary is no better.

Last November, Roche Pharmaceuticals announced plans to leave its Ennis site after more than four decades there, meaning its 240 staff would be left without jobs. Since then, there have been negotiations held with potential replacement companies to take on the site and employees, however, that hasn’t quite worked out, meaning the November news still stands.

The company said that the earlier decision will be upheld after a “rigorous examination” that saw rival, “global” pharma companies contacted.

“Roche will now enter into formal consultation with employees and their representatives. The company is committed to acting fairly and equitably with all employees and to providing the necessary and appropriate support,” it concluded.

Ennis is home to Roche’s only manufacturing site in the country – a 90-strong sales operation will remain in Ireland.

The giant pharmaceutical operator is spending around $1.6bn on a major restructuring of its business, with Roche Holding, the parent company, also withdrawing from facilities in Spain, Italy and the US.

The total job losses as part of this “divestment” is 1,200 worldwide, with plans to withdraw from the sites to be completed by 2021.

Elsewhere, in Tipperary, another 130 jobs are at risk after the High Court appointed a provisional liquidator to Suir Pharma. It has been operating in Clonmel almost as long as Roche in Ennis, with major losses in recent months not backed by parent company Saneca.

Main image of person leaving office via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic