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Quinn Insurance jobs disaster requires real and sustained Government response – Ó Caoláin

30 April, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Commenting on the job losses at Quinn Insurance and the wider implications for employment and for the economy, Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

“The announcement of the loss of 900 jobs in Quinn Insurance is a devastating blow to the workers and their families and to the communities which depend so much on those jobs.

“The implications for the local and regional economy in the Border counties, in Blanchardstown and in Navan are extremely serious.

“For the past number of weeks I have been working closely with the employees and management team of Quinn Insurance and with fellow elected representatives of all parties, and on both sides of the Border, in a sustained and determined effort to save jobs. It is deeply regrettable that despite our efforts the situation has developed where today 900 workers face redundancy.

“It is also extremely frustrating that the reopening to Quinn Insurance of the motor insurance market in the Six Counties and Britain came after such a protracted period of uncertainty, entailing major financial losses during the period since it was closed. The question arises as to whether this reopening could have been brought about earlier and if more jobs could have been saved.

“This jobs disaster is so devastating because the Border region is so dependent on the Quinn group for employment. No region should have to depend so much on one employer or one group of companies for so much of its employment. For that situation successive Irish governments must be held responsible, given their disgraceful neglect of the Border region which for decades they have failed to develop in terms of inward investment and targeted assistance for indigenous enterprise.

“The absence of proper regulation has also played its part in this jobs disaster; its presence may well have helped to ensure that Quinn Insurance and the wider Quinn Group had a sounder financial position and that jobs were in place on a stable basis.

“This jobs disaster now requires a real and sustained Government response. Every effort must be made to rejuvenate this business where possible, to retain existing jobs in Quinn insurance and the Quinn group and to take targeted action to sustain existing jobs and to create new jobs in the wider economy in the Border region. Meaningless and token task forces are unacceptable. Real investment and real strategies are required, with a hands-on approach by the State and all its relevant agencies.”

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