Athy councillors vow to fight back after Coke job losses

Meeting: Athy Councillors will meet with Minister and IDA officials

Paula Campbell

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Paula Campbell

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paula@leinsterleader.ie

Athy councillors vow to fight back after Coke job losses

Athy Coca Cola plant

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphrey, TD will visit Athy on June 14 to address the impending closure of the Coca Cola manufacturing plant in 2019 and the loss of 83 jobs locally.

The members of Athy Municipal District meeting, which was held earlier today Monday, May 21, heard that the Minister will be accompanied by various heads of the IDA on the visit.

Cllr Thomas Redmond tabled a motion that the municipal district request a meeting with IDA CEO Martin Shanahan and the Minister to discuss all issues relevant to jobs retention and creation in the South Kildare area.

“Regional aid doesn't work,” said Cllr Redmond.

“We've probably spent more money in regional aid to somewhere like Malawi than we have in Athy. We need to put the pressure on.

“We were put on the Regional Aid map yet over 50 per cent of people leave this town to get employment.

“This really needs to change.”

Cllr Ivan Keatly in response confirmed that the meeting with the Minister and IDA officials will take place next month.

“It is vitally important that Coca Cola leave a legacy for the town and the workers and that everything is done for industries here in Athy,” he said.

“Kildare County Council hasn't done all that it can for Athy. Coca Cola are fully engaging with the council and the IDA to ensure there is a positive legacy left to this town and its people.”

Cllr Wall vowed to fight back by getting everyone around the table to talk about the recent job losses next month.

“This is the fight back for Athy,” he said.

“We need manufacturing firms to come here and set up in Athy. Let's get Athy back on the map.”