200 job losses announced
More than 200 workers are to be laid off at two leading mid-west firms with one company warning costs were too high.
Aircraft maintenance firm Shannon Aerospace is to lay off 107 workers, mostly management, at its Shannon Airport base.
And publisher Elsevier, which makes scientific, technical and medical information products and services, will let 100 staff go.
Tony Killeen, defence minister and Clare TD, said he asked enterprise minister Batt O'Keeffe to promote Shannon and the mid-west on an enterprise delegation to the US this weekend.
"Every effort must be made at local and national level to ensure that the Shannon Free Zone maintains its position as the location of choice for global businesses across a variety of industries," Mr Killeen said.
Thomas Rueckert, Shannon Aerospace's managing director, said the cuts were vital to improve competitiveness in order for the business to survive.
"This is the most difficult day ever experienced by Shannon Aerospace in its 20-year history," he said.
"The company is known as a centre of excellence for training and aircraft maintenance provision and for many years experienced excellent levels of growth."
Shannon Aerospace will lay-off three senior managers, 20 other managers, 64 staff in administration and support, including logistics, engineering, planning, and 20 production technicians.
The company, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG, provides maintenance, engineering, painting and technical services to airlines. It was founded in 1989 and has a workforce of 628 full-time staff and 97 trainees.
Elsevier, also based in Shannon, said all but eight of its staff were being laid off.
Managing director Brendan Curtin said the company was reducing the number of locations it operated in.
"It is with deep regret that we announced our proposal today, which will possibly lead to a situation where we will have to let colleagues go who have worked exceptionally hard and have shown great commitment over the years," Mr Curtin said.
"We have arrived at this difficult proposal after an extensive and exhaustive review of many options."
Joe Carey and Pat Breen, local Fine Gael TDs, described the job losses as "Black Thursday" for the region.