A room with a view of several acres of disappointment

This impressive home sits on the edge of what was meant to be the Amgen site in Carrigtwohill. The plant was going to create 1,100 jobs. Pharma jobs. 2006 was going to be our year.

Amgen to employ 1,100 in massive $1bn Cork plant

And then Minister for Enterprise Micheál Martin wallowed in his own crapulence over the news.

Impeccable timing from the Cork jobs Minister


Amgen cuts not to affect Irish jobs or factory

At this stage everyone in east Cork knew the plant wasn’t going ahead. Everyone knew someone working there who had been let go. I used to pass the site every day, and could see that all that was left there was some JCBs moving piles of dirt about.

But Micheál disagreed with these stories:

“Who is spreading these rumours? Who is putting it around the place? It is outrageous that this would be said. Why would I want to do that? They (Amgen) have already made the announcement. This is a fairly stupid rumour, to be frank. We do not control Amgen – we have supported their location into Ireland but we do not control the company.”

Perhaps the reason he sounds so defensive is that he was speaking a week before the 2007 election. Shortly after the election the announcement came that the plant was not going ahead. And then someone made the connection:

Back in April, Amgen said it was delaying the plans by two years to construct the factory by 2012, instead of 2010.

But local politicians claimed yesterday that the Amgen development was also being used as an election issue in May and was being portrayed as a done deal despite the delays.

According to Ciaran Lynch, Labour TD for Cork South Central, before the recent election, Enterprise Minister Micheal Martin assured locals that there was no threat to the future of the plant.

Mr Lynch added that there was no way Amgen was ever going to build a one billion euro plant in Carrigtwohill when the company was in freefall.

As for the big, ugly site you will be overlooking if you buy that house:

“If Amgen don’t eventually develop it, it’s inevitable that somebody will,” Mr Martin said.

Given that the site now belongs to the IDA, I won’t hold my breath.

There’s a grim discussion about the whole debacle on Politics.ie here if you want to remind yourself why Fianna Fáil, and particularly Micheál Martin, are such fantastic people.

That is all.

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