Another 280 Jobs To Leave MSD Ireland: Wicklow County, Rathdrum Plant Closed

MRK-Ireland-Rathdrum-2015 UPDATED | 03.09.13: An Irish reader noted in my comment box, yesterday, that this story implies that all the past cuts, and plans to sell the plants, were at a single facility in County Wicklow [I’ve now also updated my graphic at right — to make emminently clear which Irish facility was affected this week, and the functions it performs (active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, for various business lines)]. These errors are entirely my errors.

The actions I describe, as historical footnotes, below cross both the County Carlow (legacy Schering-Plough Animal Health facility), and County Wicklow (Rathdrum) facilities (I’ve also updated the graphic, at right — to make the affected facility’s location, and functions, emminently clear). The commenter also notes that the Rathdrum closing announced this week was indeed “shocking” to the rank and file.

The commenter also notes that the Rathdrum closing announced this week was indeed a “shock” to the rank and file. I did not mean to appear flip in my commentary; far from it — I meant to express empathy. I missed the mark. And so, for that as well, I apologize. The Irish facilities (involved locations, below) include MSD Dublin Road, Carlow Co., Carlow, Ireland; and MSD Ireland, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. END, UPDATED PORTION.

The first 240 were let go in late March 2009, by legacy Schering-Plough — and in September 2010, the plant was put up for sale. . . so this is far from shocking news.

Just the same — this is very hard news for my distant cousins still there. Here is the Irish Times story, just now — but do go read it all:

. . . .Pharmaceutical company MSD is to close its facility in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow with a loss of 280 jobs.

The company, formerly Merck Sharp and Dohme, told staff this morning that it would cease operations at the plant by the end of 2015. However, no job losses are expected to happen before the end of next year.

The closure comes as part of an ongoing review of MSD’s worldwide manufacturing capabilities, which has resulted in sites around the world being sold, closed or consolidated.

“Rathdrum has been a significant manufacturing site since 1961 and has a long history of operational excellence,” site director John Smith,said. “The proposal to cease operations is not a reflection of the site’s performance or the highly skilled people working there. . . .”

Here’s to better times ahead, for ya’ mates. . . and most sincerely, my condolences — may the road rise to meet you, from here on.


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