IDA will get back €3.9m of €62.3m paid to HP, Dáil told

Minister says IDA Ireland marketing site of HP plant in north Kildare to interested buyers

 Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD briefs the  press on job losses at HP on Wednesday.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD briefs the press on job losses at HP on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

IDA Ireland will receive about €3.9 million of the €62.3 million paid in grant assistance to HP Inc over years, Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor told the Dáil.

She said the money would be recovered “in line with the legal arrangements in place’’ between the agency and the company.

Ms O’Connor was responding to a series of questions on the loss of 500 jobs at the north Kildare plant.

She said IDA Ireland was marketing the site to interested buyers. Those who lost their jobs would be briefed on their entitlements, including redundancy payments.

Enterprise Ireland will also visit on site,’’ she added.

Earlier, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it became apparent five weeks ago the company was going to shed workers.

He said IDA Ireland had been involved intensely with the company over the last period and its chief executive had travelled to California to talk to company personnel.

The Minister, he added, had spoken to company personnel last week but, unfortunately, the company was not for turning on the decision it had made.

“The efforts made over the period by IDA Ireland and the Minister were, in the end, in vain because the company decided that the particular product in HP Inc was to be discontinued, ‘’ Mr Kenny added.

He said the Department of Social Protection would involve itself directly with the workforce in the plant, but it had to be invited in there.

Enhanced severance package

Mr Kenny said the plant was in a brilliant location, with a fabulous building that had multiple uses.

“It could be sold as a going concern,’’ he added.

He said the State would provide whatever support it could to find a replacement so people could be retrained in the shortest possible time.

Mr Kenny said the company would retain a small sales entity and support presence in Leixlip.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the House would be saddened to hear the news of the job losses.

“The loss of such a large number of jobs will obviously, in the first instance, have an extraordinary and devastating impact on the workers and their families,’’ he added.

“It will have a wider impact on the community and economy of the hinterland around north Kildare.’’

Mr Martin said it was very unfair and distressing that the workers had heard the news through the national media.

“What happened was unusual because, in situations of this nature, companies do not tend to leak such news,’’ he added.

Mr Kenny said it was very hard to know where any information came from these days.