Employees devastated by decision
THE mood was sombre at MSD's manufacturing plant as a steady stream of workers left for the day, knowing that their days there are numbered.
After working as a process operation at the plant for 13 years, Michelle Lujan (46), from Balbriggan, Co Dublin, said staff were stunned to learn that the company is to close as part of a global restructuring plan, as "the place is flying".
"It did come as a shock, I'm very worried. At this age, everything is against you. I'll be nearly 50," she said.
Her colleague Margaret Rodgers, who has worked in the plant's steriles department for the past eight years, said workers were not only worried about their futures, but the facility was a great place to work and colleagues were very close-knit.
Patricia Rogers (48), who has also worked at the plant for the past 13 years, said the mood was one of "total devastation".
Ms Rogers, who lives in nearby Garristown, Co Meath, said the closure of the plant will also lead to more job losses locally.
"It has a huge impact on the whole area," she said of the local pubs, restaurants, chippers and retailers that would also feel the pinch once the plant closes.
John Cronin (41) only joined the plant 18 months ago and fears he will be one of the first people to be made redundant.
However, he said there was a ray of hope that the company would try to find jobs for workers elsewhere within the company.
Trade union Unite, representing 360 workers at the plant, also expressed its shock at the announcement a month before Christmas and vowed to work to help find a company to take over the site.