Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 3 Jun 1992

Vol. 420 No. 6

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Waterford Plant Closure.

Tomás MacGiolla


18 Tomás Mac Giolla asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will make a statement on the sudden closure of a company (details supplied) in Waterford with the loss of 46 jobs.

I have no function in the decisions of private firms. Contact with the company is a matter of day-to-day responsibility for the IDA, who have been in consultations with the company with a view to safeguarding as many jobs as possible at the plant.

Was it on the basis of information provided by the IDA that the Minister described the company as an internationally renowned company when he opened it in October? Is the Minister now taking any steps to ensure that the IDA recover the £125,000 that has been grant-aided to the company? Has the Minister been informed by the IDA that the so-called manufacturing base of the company was little more than a shed in Wolverhampton?

I did not describe the company as being internationally renowned. I did not use those words or any analogous words to describe it. It is misleading for the Deputy to suggest that I did.

It is quoted in the local paper.

I have the text of the announcement in regard to the company before me. It does not contain those words or any words even remotely similar to those quoted by the Deputy.

What are the prospects of keeping the company going?

The IDA have informed me that they are engaged in active discussion with the owners and that they are hopeful that the company plant may re-open with perhaps some restructuring of the ownership and the operations there.

Is the Minister aware that complaints were made as early as last January to the IDA by workers of the company, that the confidentiality of the information conveyed was breached, that the company were aware of the names of those who made the complaints and that the workers were disciplined?

I am not so aware. In my experience, the IDA are assiduous in treating matters that come to their attention confidentially. I frequently have to battle for information in order to reply to requests made in the House of the recognised necessity to retain confidentiality in relation to the affairs of companies.

We must now move on to Private Notice Questions. I should like Deputy Austin Deasy to present his question.

Could I ask a simple matter of clarification?

In relation to what?

I seek clarification in relation to a question I tabled. It has been ruled that my question relates to a matter that is sub judice. I wonder how that ruling comes about, particularly in light of the similar matter being raised by various news media personnel. Could I have an explanation on the ruling of sub judice?

As is the case with all such matters, if the Deputy consults the office of the Ceann Comhairle, I am sure the matter will be explained finally and, I hope, satisfactorily.