More job losses could be arriving down the line for Co Tipperary with the news that the fashion retail chain Carl Scarpa has gone into examiner-ship. The chain which began operating in the early seventies selling shoes and accessories employs more than 80 people in 21 outlets, one of which is in based at No 6 Gladstone Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
Examining, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan stated that the stores had established a strong brand; selling shoes designed for the fashion conscious consumer and described Carl Scarpa’s present difficulties as sadly an all too familiar site in the present Irish retail sector. At the moment however the business cannot pay its debts, including in the region of €200,000 in tax arrears due to Irish Revenue.
Carl Scarpa site Legacy Debt and above Market Rents as being partially to blame for their current trading difficulties.
Earlier this week the US pharmaceutical giant Merck said it would eliminate an additional 8,500 jobs worldwide as it seeks to cut costs by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. The new job cuts, combined with previously announced cuts of about 7,500, will slash some 20% of their current global workforce of 81,000 by end-2015. The company has been under pressure following the expiration of patents on some key drugs.
Merck employs some 2,000 people in Ireland, with over 400 employees at its manufacturing facility at Ballydine, Kilsheelan, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. The company’s plant near Kilsheelan exports to some 30 countries. Back in 2010 a new research and development site was opened. The worry for Tipperary employees is that most of Merck’s new expected savings are expected to come via marketing and administrative expenses, including a cut back in research and development.
Merck & Co have already agreed to close its MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme) plant at Rathdrum in Co Wicklow by the end of 2015, resulting in the loss of 280 jobs and had planed to relocate products manufactured in Rathdrum to MSD sites in Ballydine and Singapore, as well as to third-party manufacturers.
Job Creation In Tipperary
The Irish Industrial Development Authority (IDA) boasts of its successes in achieving strong net job performance mainly through foreign direct investment particularly over the previous 12 months. It should be noted however that some 54%, or 6,389 of their created jobs were in Co Dublin, while some 1,979 jobs were created in Co Cork during this same twelve month period.
Here in the County of Tipperary, alas in the South of our county a mere ten jobs were only put in place, (Fifth from bottom of the overall job creation list nationally) and to equate this to North Tipperary, we saw not even one single job created, (Bottom of the overall job creation list nationally) during this same period.
While unemployment figures may have improved very slightly in the larger Irish cities, Thurles and Tipperary presently sit under a dark cloud while awaiting details of the next budget. If a reversal in the current 9% VAT rate is implemented, as was recently muted by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, then hospitality and services sectors in the county will have no alternative but to shed further employees, thus ultimately leading to net losses for the exchequer and the further destruction of rural Ireland.