Optimism high in West Limerick following Ortec jobs announcement

Norma Prendiville


Norma Prendiville

Optimism high in West Limerick following Ortec jobs announcement

Officials welcoming the jobs boost for Newcastle West

THE announcement that US company Ortec Inc is to site its European headquarters in Newcastle West with the creation of more than 100 jobs has sparked a new optimism and given a  huge positive fillip to the town and the wider West Limerick area this week.

The good news has been widely and warmly welcomed by public representatives and local organisations.  

“The investment is a significant boost for the economy of Limerick, as a whole, and Newcastle West in particular, “ the Mayor of Limerick, City and  County, Kieran O’Hanlon said.

“I welcome the jobs announcement today with open arms.  It’s been a long time in the making,” Cllr John Sheahan, chairman of Newcastle West Municipal District said.  “  My hope is that Ortec will become an anchor in Newcastle West and a magnet for other industries to look at locating in the town. I hope the 110 jobs announced by Ortec will have a knock-on effect for other businesses, such as the service sector, in Newcastle West and West Limerick in general.”

“It is great news, brilliant news,” Seamus Hunt, the outgoing chairman of the Newcastle West Business Association said.

Local Fine Gael TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan was among the first to welcome the good news. “Over the last number of years I have been working closely with the IDA, Limerick City and County Council, the Shannon Group and the local promoters of the project, Stephen O’Donovan, Derry McMahon and Peter Byrne to secure this major investment for the town of Newcastle West,” he said, early on Tuesday morning, adding his hope that Limerick would see more foreign direct investment projects in the future.

“This is fantastic news for Limerick and shows that Limerick can be a leading choice for companies looking for a high-quality workforce,” Fianna Fail TD for Limerick Niall Collins said.

“When the IDA and the Department of Jobs focus on attracting new employers to rural counties such as Limerick, they succeed.

“I hope that they will continue to focus on Limerick and the wider Mid-West region for site visits. A jobs announcement like this should become the norm for the people of Limerick. That should become the priority,” he added.

Ortec Inc. was founded  in 1980 and its headquarters are in Easley, South Carolina. The privately owned company offers custom material which are then used in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other health industries.

Announcing their investment,  Ortec Inc.’s senior vice president Christopher Brotherton said:  “This is our first investment outside of the US, and we are pleased to be doing it in Ireland.  It is a strategic part of our global expansion.  Bringing the project to this stage has required a great deal of collaboration.”

He acknowledged the tremendous support  from IDA Ireland, Limerick City and County Council, Shannon Properties, and “a multitude of local professional advisors”.  

“The developers Peter Byrne, Derry McMahon, and Stephen O’Donovan have been tireless in promoting our project, the town, and the entire area.  We are excited to be part of the community in Newcastle West,” Mr Brotherton said

The company plans to create up to 110 skilled engineering and science jobs over the next number of years once the plant is operational.

It will locate its new European headquarters in a 13,000 square foot industrial unit in the Newcastle West Industrial Park but plans to double the area in the coming months. and the move to Newcastle West is its  first overseas