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Irish job losses in Waterford Wedgwood unnecessary

5 January, 2009

Sinn Féin's Enterprise Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD this afternoon described the threatened job losses in Waterford Wedgwood Irish operations as 'potentially unnecessary'. The Louth TD was responding to today's appointment of a receiver to the company.

Deputy Morgan said:

"In advance of this afternoon's release of 2008's year end Exchequer figures Taoiseach Brian Cowen has spoken of the need to minimise job losses in 2009 as the country faces into a deepening recession.

"In this context it is incomprehensible to me that the Taoiseach has not instructed the Minister of Trade, Enterprise and Employment and her Department to step in and offer a supportive and constructive role to Waterford Wedgwood in an effort to keep its Irish operations viable.

"The reality is that the threatened job losses in the Waterford based company are potentially unnecessary.

"The Irish based crystal strand of the business remains relatively healthy with the product brand recognition remaining strong as exemplified by the 300,000 visitors to the Waterford store last year.

"Brian Cowen needs to instruct the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment to immediately seek a meeting with David Carson, a partner in Deloitte Ireland who has been appointed receiver of the Irish operations of Waterford Wedgwood and its trading subsidiaries.

"The Department must discuss with the receiver the possibility of ring fencing the Irish operations as a 'going concern' to potential investors. Whilst the Waterford Wedgwood Group is in significant financial difficulties the comparatively healthy Irish crystal operation does not need to go down with the ship.

"Job creation must become a central strategy for government over the coming months and years. This means taking a hands-on innovative approach when companies like Waterford Wedgwood face financial difficulties or indeed when companies such as Dell first mute intentions to move their operations out of Ireland. Sitting back and letting the chips fall way they may is not a strategy, it is the inaction of a government and Taoiseach without a plan." ENDS

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