Newry employees to lose jobs after collapse of Target Express
It has emerged that employees in Newry working for haulage firm Target Express will be among over 450 people North and South of the border affected by its collapse.
Target Express, one of the largest private haulage firms in Ireland, has a huge network of depots throughout the country.
The Newry depot, based in Carnbane Business Park on the outskirts of the city, is owned by Fermanagh businessman Seamus McBrien.
He blamed the company’s collapse on the tax authorities in the South, stating his belief that they ‘forced the collapse’ of Target Express.
Speaking this week to the BBC, McBrien stated, “The banks have been told to freeze accounts by the revenue commissioners and that is the reason staff have stopped getting paid. I have put that on the record and do not intend to add to it. Again I want to thank our staff.”
He added, “I am terribly terribly sorry for all our staff. I want to thank them and tell how sorry I am that but this is not my fault. All our customers will find alternative companies to use and as far as I am concerned the company is finished. This is the end of the company and everything is gone.”
Reacting to the news, SDLP Newry and Armagh MLA Dominic Bradley expressed regret at the announcement and the loss of jobs in Newry.
Bradley also questioned the role of the Revenue Commission and the apparent conditions placed on the company.
Speaking to Newry Times, he said: “It is deeply regrettable that Target Express has ceased to trade with the loss of jobs in Newry.
“The SDLP will be questioning why the Revenue Commissioners weren’t willing to negotiate a settlement to keep the firm running and thus saving jobs in our community.
“Losing a firm like this is bad for our local and national economy and as the largest privately owned haulage company, it is extremely bad for the haulage business and is indicative of how haulage firms are finding it hard to trade currently, given the continuing high cost of fuel.”
Expressing sympathy with the local people who lost their jobs, Bradley added, “Our hearts go out to those workers who are feeling the brunt of this sorry situation and their families.”
Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy said he is ‘very shocked’ and ‘disappointed’ to learn that Target Express has ceased trading.
“This is a major blow to the local economy as the company has a depot in Newry and my thoughts are with the workers and their families at this time.
“Across the North Target employs almost 150 people, these job losses may well have a greater impact as ancillary jobs could be in danger. According to the Irish Road Haulage Association 5000 jobs have been lost in the industry on the island in the last two years.”
Murphy continued, “With this in mind it is even more distressing for staff of Seamus McBrien’s company, the largest privately owned haulage company in the 26 Counties.
The Sinn Féin office in Newry, 028 3026 1693, is open for advice to any workers affected by the closure and I will endeavour to help in whatever I can.”
“Many of these people will have mortgages and direct debits affected and I would ask the local banks in particular to be sympathetic to their plight,” he added.
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