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Healthcare company to close factory

Global healthcare company Pfizer is to close one of its Irish factories where 136 people are employed.

A spokeswoman for the company said it was too early to say how many jobs, if any, would go when the plant at Little Island in Cork ceases operations.

Pfizer said all manufacturing of products at the site will relocate to a factory in Ringaskiddy next year.

Dr Paul Duffy, vice president of Pfizer, said: "Ireland remains a key strategic location for Pfizer, with extensive operations in Cork, Kildare and Dublin.

"The proposed relocation of these medicines to Ringaskiddy is necessary for our Irish operations as we strive to further enhance our ability to compete even more effectively in a changing global pharmaceutical market."

Pfizer said the shutting down of Little Island was in response to reducing demand as patents on some medicines expire. The company employs approximately 3,200 people at six sites in Ireland across manufacturing, shared services, treasury and commercial operations.

Trade union Siptu will hold talks with Pfizer management over the closure. Sector organiser Alan O'Leary said members were concerned by the plans to shut and sell Little Island.

"The announcement has created a lot of uncertainty for the future among these workers, as the sale of such a large site is a complex and difficult proposition," he said. "However, the workers employed in Little Island are of the highest calibre and the plant is a well-equipped and modern facility."

Siptu said its focus was on securing as many of the 136 jobs as possible.

Elsewhere, Citigroup bank confirmed it will cease operations by the end of the year at its Waterford offices, where 50 jobs will be affected.

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