420 new jobs for Limerick in €80m investment

Dan Wildman, president of Ethicon Biosurgery, with Ministers Michael Noonan and Richard Bruton at today's jobs announcement [Picture: Michael Cowhey]
MORE than 400 jobs are to be created in Limerick following the announcement of a €80m investment by Ethicon Biosurgery Ireland.

MORE than 400 jobs are to be created in Limerick following the announcement of a €80m investment by Ethicon Biosurgery Ireland.

The company, which is part of the Johnson and Johnson group, will create 270 high-tech jobs at a new state-of-the facility in Plassey.

It is anticipated that the 60,000 square foot facility will be completed by 2015 and that an additional 150 temporary jobs will be created during construction.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, who met with senior Johnson & Johnson executives and discussed the project during a recent IDA investment mission to the United States, has welcomed the investment.

“Today’s announcement that Ethicon Biosurgery, a world-leading company in the medical devices sector, is establishing a manufacturing facility in Limerick with the creation of 270 high-end jobs is brilliant news. This is a model of what we are trying to achieve with our plan – a great global company investing €80 million in a manufacturing plant in Limerick, creating large numbers of permanent jobs as well as construction jobs, with huge knock-on benefits for the surrounding areas,” he said.

When operational, the new Limerick facility will manufacture EVARREST Sealant Matrix, a novel product that rapidly and reliably aids in stopping bleeding during surgery.

Speaking at today’s announcement at the Strand Hotel, Dan Wildman, worldwide president of Ethicon Biosurgery, said: “The decision to manufacture EVARREST Sealant Matrix in Ireland was due to the unique clustering of medical device manufacturing, automation and biomanufacturing skill sets across the Johnson & Johnson companies already operating in Ireland.”

Mr Wildman also paid tribute to the IDA and the Irish government for their assistance with the project.

Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, says the investment by Ethicon Biosurgery is hugely significant for the Mid West region as a whole.

“This is a further endorsement of Limerick as a cutting-edge location for investment, and a great vote of confidence in the future of manufacturing here. It is great news. Limerick has a track record over decades of providing quality products to markets around the world. Johnson and Johnson’s investment here reflects that. These jobs bring together Limerick’s industrial history and our manufacturing future. They are the next generation of life science manufacturing, and testify to the ability of our third level institutions to provide graduates of the highest standard.”

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, who met with representatives of Ethicon Biosurgery in January says the product they are producing is extraordinarily interesting. “It is a kind of a gauze that prevents bleeding and in my own view, it has a huge market.”

Mr Noonan said he expects the initial 270 jobs to grow “very significantly in the coming years.

“It will be a stand alone building but it is part of the Johnson & Johnson group and we know the group is very well represented in Limerick already.

There are so many medical device companies now in the Limerick area, I think we have developed a cluster and areas which have a cluster tend to attract additional industries.”

For full story and analysis, see the Limerick Leader weekend editions.