Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has said he is very disappointed with the announcement today that Coca Cola is proposing the transfer of production from it’s Athy International Concentrates plant in Co. Kildare to the high capacity facility at Ballina Beverages in Co. Mayo with the potential loss of 82 jobs.

“First and foremost my thoughts are with the employees who have been given this news today.  Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has assured me that her Department stand ready to provide all assistance and supports to staff affected.

“I have also spoken to my colleague the Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphries to highlight to her the impact this closure will have in Athy and highlighting the vital role that state agency IDA must now play in the town.

“Coca Cola were an established employer in the town and I have spoken to them already about their future plans for the site.  It is a prime manufacturing site in Athy and it needs to be available for future employers.

“With the official opening of the new Athy Community library tomorrow by Minister Michael Ring and progress continuing on the Southern Distributor Route, we can see the positive impact of state investment in Athy.

“I am determined that a coordinated Government response will firstly support the staff at this difficult time and then focus on attracting new employers to Athy.