A former Clare Government Minister has expressed fears that the Kepak meat processing facility in Drumquin won’t re-open.
Fine Gael’s Pat Breen has described the loss of 45 jobs at the meat factory as one of the lows of his time in office.
He’s also spoken of his concern over the problems facing the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fine Gael’s Pat Breen announced his retirement from politics in February, having failed to retain his seat in the General Election.
But the Ballynacally resident didn’t formally stand down from his position until last Friday, following the formation of the new Government.
During that time, much of his work as Minister of State at the Department of Jobs was focussed on helping firms through the COVID crisis, and today he gave a frank assessment of the impact it will have on the economy.
Pat Breen says many small and medium businesses, who are the backbone of the economy are in a difficult position financially.
He fears that without the right support, some won’t ever be able to open their doors again.
Also today Pat Breen said the closure of the Kepak facility in Drumquin, close to his own home, was one of the lows of his time in office.
Kepak Clare has previously said that the closure will be kept under view, but today’s comments are part of the growing fears for its future.
He now fears the facility won’t reopen, in a big blow for the area.
The former Junior Minister also stated that Shannon Airport may need policy changes to help it recover from its current difficulties.
He rejected any suggestion that Shannon’s Independence has been bad for the Airport, but says it will need a shift in approach to help it rebound.