Údarás na Gaeltachta has issued a statement saying that they are disappointed that SLM Ceangail Teo. have terminated the employment of their staff on the Derrybeg Industrial estate within days of Christmas.
The statement said: "This is a significant blow to the company’s current employees and to others who had recently secured new jobs in the company, particularly in advance of the Christmas period. Although company management maintained customary and regular correspondence with Údarás na Gaeltachta, as late as yesterday (December 20th) evening, Údarás were not given any indication that the company was to close."
Údarás confirmed that they have not received any contact from the company in this regard, as yet.
In line with its standard support schemes, Údarás na Gaeltachta approved a comprehensive support package for SLM Ceangail Éire Teo. when they were first established in Gaoth Dobhair in early 2016 and every appropriate assistance and support possible under state aid rules was made available to the company.
There were 32 people employed in the company, 24 full time and 8 part time and it is reported that 8 new posts were to commence in the company in January.
A total of €171,467 in grant aid, Employment & Training Grants & Rental Subsidy, has been paid to the company to date. When the appropriate details are officially confirmed as regards reports of the companies liquidation Údarás na Gaeltachta will take all appropriate steps as regards recoupment of state aid invested.
The Chief Executive Officer of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, said: “This news is a significant source of disappointment for the Gaoth Dobhair community just before the Christmas period and especially for the workers who have lost their jobs today. Údarás na Gaeltachta will continue with our diligent efforts to create new jobs on Gaoth Dobhair Business Park.”
Meanwhile, the Gaeltacht Minister Deputy Joe McHugh is to meet staff today at a Gaoth Dobhair company which closed yesterday.
SLM Eire Teo, a digital marketing company with its HQ in Manchester, gave their 32 Donegal notice of closure at their offices at the Gaeltacht Business Park.
After talks between Minister McHugh and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty last night, staff from her Department will also meet former SLM staff in Gaoth Dobhair today to advise them of their rights. Emergency payments will also be processed if required.
Údarás officials will also be on hand to advise on vacancies at other companies at the Business Park.
“This is very upsetting news for 32 people and their families,” said McHugh.
“Minister Regina Doherty has organised her Department staff to be on hand for a group meeting with staff today and for individual meetings where claims can be made and emergency payments issued if required. I’d like to thank Regina who responded so quickly yesterday evening.
“My immediate concern is for the former staff and their families. This is a very upsetting time for them and I have spoken to a number of staff by phone and will be meeting them later today in Gaoth Dobhair.”
The Donegal TD added: “I’ve also arranged for Údarás na Gaeltachta staff to be at our meeting today to advise on other positions available in the area.”