THE government has played down concerns over a temporary cessation of activities at Analog Devices.
As revealed by the Limerick Leader last week, the Raheen-based company, which employs 1,200 people, is set to slow down operations next month in response to US president Donald Trump’s blacklisting of Huawei, who staff in Analog make microchips for.
In response to this, former Defence Minister Willie O’Dea raised the matter in the Dail with the Junior Minister at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Clare TD Pat Breen. Mr O’Dea said: “If anything happened there [at Analog], there would be a ripple effect throughout the economy of the Mid-West because many smaller companies and contractors depend on the business they do with Analog. It would have a devastating impact on the economy of the region.”
He asked Mr Breen if any discussions had taken place between his department and the company, which is headquartered in Massachusetts, as well as seeking "reassurance" for workers.
In response, the Junior Minister said: “Our understanding in the Department remains that this is a short-term measure that is being implemented across Analog Devices’ global sites and there have been no long-term concerns raised over its Irish operation.”
He said the government will continue to assess the wider situation and keep the matter under review.
But Mr O’Dea said: “The reality is that people don’t know if this will be short-term or otherwise.”
He asked Mr Breen if Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has raised the Analog issue on Mr Trump's recent visit to these shores.
Mr Breen said it was his understanding that this was the case, “but they obviously did not go into it comprehensively.”
He said if the Analog situation does deteriorate, “it will be a different matter”.
Senator Paul Gavan also raised concerns over the company in the Upper House last week.