Liberty job losses major blow for Cavan – Smith

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has expressed his serious disappointment following the announcement by Liberty Insurance that it’s planning to cut 270 jobs at its offices in Cavan, Enniskillen and Dublin. The jobs will be phased out over the next 18 months as the company seeks voluntary redundancies.

Deputy Smith commented, “The news this morning will have come as a terrible blow to staff at Liberty Insurance and their families. The cuts appear to have come out of the blue and have come about as a result of the company’s decision to withdraw from the British motor insurance market. 115 workers in Cavan, 20 in Enniskillen, and 135 in Blanchardstown are now facing uncertain futures, many of them with families, mortgages and other responsibilities. This is an extremely daunting prospect and my thoughts are with the workers following this most disappointing decision by Liberty Insurance.

“Liberty Insurance, formerly Quinn Insurance, has been an extremely important and major employer in Cavan since the mid-1990s. The sale of Quinn Insurance to Liberty Insurance was concluded in October 2011. The company statement today states that they employ over 950 people in Cavan, Enniskillen, Blanchardstown and London. The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, in April 2011 stated, in relation to the sale of Quinn Insurance, that he welcomed the positives of the proposed agreement in that almost all of 1,500 jobs in Quinn Insurance would be retained. Unfortunately, in the meantime, there has been a severe reduction in the level of employment in Liberty Insurance.

“I have called on the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to engage immediately with Liberty Insurance with a view to the retention of the maximum level of employment in this company. He must also get answers from the company in relation to the commitments they made at the time of the purchase of Quinn Insurance.

“A very serious effort needs to be made by the Jobs Minister and the statutory agencies to support employees who now face redundancy. The needs of redundant workers, whether in the area of retraining or upskilling, must be addressed and I know that there is a very committed and highly skilled workforce in Liberty Insurance. The least that they deserve is the full support of the State agencies to ensure that they are not deprived of the opportunity to successfully re-enter the workplace again.”