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Bishop Comments On Local Job Losses

Bishop Fintan Gavin said Mass at 6pm on Saturday October 26th in the church of Our Lady & St. John, Carrigaline.

During the mass, he referred to the news of the recent redundancies in Novartis, Ringaskiddy, saying “My heart sank when like so many others I turned on the radio on Wednesday morning as details of the 320 job losses at Novartis, Ringaskiddy emerged. It is a devastating blow to the employees, their families and to the wider community.

The fact that the announcement came suddenly and without warning to staff and their families creates a huge insecurity and uncertainty for the many people employed in Novartis and others employed in the wider pharmaceutical industry, their families and local communities such as here in Carrigaline.

Every effort needs to be made by government and the IDA to prevent as many job losses as possible, to support those who will lose their jobs and to seek an alternative company to invest in the site. On Tuesday we celebrated the feast of St. John Paul II, who highlighted the person’s dignity as worker and the importance of work to the human person and their fulfilment.

Carrigaline is just one of the communities that is now heavily dependent on the pharmaceutical sector and this announcement by Novartis highlights the danger of our dependence on global companies.

As a nation of people, we have developed an enormous reliance on the Pharmaceutical sector. These industries have provided and continue to provide a valued livelihood to thousands of our people. However, at the same time, we can easily forget that these industries and their parent companies are global companies, researching, producing and marketing for a global business. As a nation, we need to ensure that our reliance on Foreign Direct Investment doesn’t lure us into false security and we need to invest more in indigenous industries and innovations.

News such as that which we received out of the blue from Novartis last Wednesday reminds us that as local communities and families, we need to strengthen our ties with neighbours and friends, always aware of who is beside us and of their needs. As parishes, we have a strong tradition of supporting people and families in times of worry and need and we will continue to do this.

I visit Carrigaline this evening as just one community that will be affected by these job losses. Carrigaline has grown rapidly in recent years and has established and nurtured a strong sense of community. It is also a very strong parish faith community, which has developed to embrace so many new people and families. Even when everything may be subject to unexpected changes, the parish to which we belong is always an anchor.

This church is dedicated to Our Lady and St. John who both kneel at the foot of the Cross of Jesus. That scene is beautifully depicted on the stained-glass window over the main entrance. It is at the foot of the Cross that Christian community is formed. In these times of uncertainty for people, we all respond as a Christian family with prayerful support, with hope and with practical expressions of Christian solidarity.”

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