PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY MSD is to close its manufacturing plant in Swords, Dublin, it was announced today, with the loss of 570 jobs.
Staff at the Dublin plant were told shortly after 2.30pm today with plans to cease operations at the site by the end of 2017.
In the second half of next year, it is anticipated that 130 people will leave the organisation and the remaining positions will be phased out over the following three years.
The company plans to relocate products manufactured in Swords, in the areas of women’s health, anaesthesia and psychiatry, to MSD sites in the Netherlands, the US and Belgium, as well as to third-party manufacturers throughout Europe and the US.
In a statement today, the company said:
The proposed action is an outcome of MSD’s ongoing review of its worldwide manufacturing capabilities and is representative of the company’s global initiative to sharpen its commercial and R&D focus and improve overall operational effectiveness. The company plans to work with the IDA Ireland to aggressively pursue a buyer for the facility in order to potentially mitigate job losses.
Site Director Tony Pusic said the proposal is the outcome of the company’s “ongoing review of its worldwide manufacturing capacity that has resulted in sites being sold, closed or consolidated in all regions of the world”.
The proposal to cease operations is not a reflection of the site’s performance or the highly skilled people working here.
The news comes off the back of the announcement of a plant closure in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow in March this year to result in 280 jobs losses with this site expected to close by the end of 2015. The company also sought 90 voluntary redundancies at its Cork plant in October last year.
Currently the pharma company employs around 2,000 people across the country, including sites in Dublin, Tipperary, Cork and Carlow and Wicklow.
Commenting on the announcement today, IDA Ireland Chief Executive Barry O’Leary said the pharmaceutical sector “remains a significant employer in Ireland”.
He said IDA is committed to finding a buyer for the facility and creating alternative employment in the area.
“Significant fresh investment in the sector is underway and several other pharmaceutical projects are currently in play and being pursued aggressively by Ireland,” he added.