Local TDs have added their voices to the widespread shock that followed last weekend’s announcement of the loss of 60 jobs with the closure of major Midlands motor dealership, Casey Autogroup.
The dealer, which has retail outlets in Athlone, Roscommon, and Carrick-on-Shannon, informed staff at a meeting last Friday that the company had gone into liquidation.
The family-run business had been trading in Roscommon for more than 80 years, and in the last 10 years had opened new outlets in Athlone and Carrick-on-Shannon. It claimed to be the largest employer in the automotive industry in the Midlands, and was an authorised dealer for Ford, Kia, Honda, and Volvo.
Minister for Housing & Local Services, local Deputy Michael Finneran, said he was deeply shocked and saddened at the news that the group was to close down.
“The Casey Group was a family-run business and were exemplary employers, and also one of the largest employers in the automotive industry in the West Midland region. Their contribution to the economic wellbeing of the region was significant down through the years. They employed over 60 people and the loss of these jobs will have a terrible detrimental effect on these families,” said Deputy Finneran.
“I share great disappointment with the Casey family, directors, staff, their families, and all involved with the company at this shock news.”
Meanwhile Deputy James Bannon described the closure as “another death blow to the Midlands”, and said the Government must intervene to address the plight of the auto industry in Ireland.
“These 60 jobs are part of a chain of closures, the links of which are getting shorter and shorter, with unemployment rates rising daily, as company after company is driven to the wall. The loss of 60 jobs in isolation would be bad enough but as part of an ever-repeating pattern that is destroying the fabric of life in the Midlands, they are catastrophic,” he said.
“With new car sales down 77 per cent in July, where are the Government incentives to rectify this fall-out? The financial downturn has closed the door on readily available finance, leaving potential buyers unable to purchase and dealers unable to sell...the Government cannot continue to ignore the plight of the auto industry.”