Border town gets lifeline as global firm creates 200 jobs
A BORDER town grappling with high unemployment was given a lifeline when 200 new jobs were created at a global pharmaceutical company.
Tanaiste Mary Coughlan announced the positions at Warner Chilcott yesterday, which is the first pharmaceutical firm to locate in Dundalk, Co Louth.
The level of education in Ireland was a major factor in the decision of the company according to its president and CEO Roger Boissonneault.
He said that Ireland "should be proud of its education system", adding that the company would be maintaining its established links with both Queens University in Belfast and Oxford University in England.
"We are excited to establish a new headquarters in Dundalk and are delighted with the support being provided by IDA Ireland," he said.
"We anticipate that the new facility will play an integral role in the growth of our business."
IDA Regional Manager Pat Doherty said: "Ireland is currently home to 15 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world."
He said the investment by Warner Chilcott was "the type of investment (the IDA) want to attract to County Louth".
Welcoming the decision, Ms Coughlan said: "It is excellent news for the north-east region and Ireland as a whole.
"Dundalk is one of Ireland's busiest economic corridors, between Dublin and Belfast, and today's announcement will bring new high quality employment opportunities to the region, adding further to the region's portfolio of world-class foreign direct investment companies operating here, which include Xerox, Heinz, Moffett, Diageo, ABB, National Pen and Satir," Ms Coughlan added.
The company is waiting for planning permission for its premises, which will be located adjacent to Xerox and less than 1km from the M1 motorway.
It will locate executive offices, manufacturing operations and service support there and hopes to start recruiting immediately and to have created the 200 positions in the coming five years.
Dundalk-based TD and Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said the jobs were "cutting edge".
"We had bad news recently with the loss of jobs in the banking sector but this shows that Dundalk and the north east can bounce back," he added.