Bishop Monahan said, “Like many others I was greatly concerned to hear the news of the phased closure of the Irish subsidiary of Molex. The loss of 500 jobs is a devastating blow to the employees, their families and to the local economy.  I was in Shannon last night and I could feel the dark cloud affecting everyone following the news of this serious employment loss.

“Shannon was the world’s first free trade zone when it was created 50 years ago and employs people from all over Ireland and many other nationalities.  It is also true however that Shannon’s businesses have been struggling a lot in recent years and this news is devastating for the local economy. This announcement not only directly affects Molex workers but, in addition, it jeopardises thousands of ancillary industries which rely for survival on the pay spend of these local workers.”

Commenting on the resilience of the local community, Bishop Monahan said, “While our people have a wonderful spirit and resilience, this news is evidence that we are living more-and-more in a two-tier Ireland – with the regions losing out.  My concern is that young families, people managing mortgages and domestic bills, with child care commitments, will be the first impacted.  I am asking that special prayers be offered at Masses throughout the Diocese of Killaloe this weekend for the intentions of employees, for the prospect of obtaining new skills and employment, and most of all that their hope in the future can be restored.”

Bishop Monahan then appealed for support for the workers and their families. He said, “It is incumbent on our public representatives to act decisively and quickly in order to allay the fears of families and to serve the common good.  The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys, herself a rural TD, local politicians, and the relevant State agencies, need to prioritise our region in terms of sustaining employment opportunities for this skilled workforce between now and when the plant closes at the end of 2020.”

ENDS