With the first two phases of the remediation of its 88-acre site in Clarecastle, Co. Clare now complete and the final environmental remediation phase now underway, Roche Ireland has commenced discussions with key stakeholders on the potential future for this prime site in Co. Clare.
The first step in this process was undertaken at an event held at Roche’s Clarecastle site on Wednesday, 26 July 2023 with the presentation of a letter from Roche senior management to Clare County Council offering the Council ‘the benefit of a right of first refusal in respect of the Roche site in Clarecastle after the remediation works are complete’.
The remediation works represent a significant investment in preparing the site for the future and will take a number of years to complete. Given this timespan and the many stakeholders involved, detailed planning for the site’s future will now begin.
Representatives from Roche Global Headquarters in Basel, Roche Products Dublin, Clare County Council, the Clarecastle community, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and the Environmental Protection Agency, together with elected representatives, attended the on-site event. Guests were taken on a guided tour of the site to showcase the remediation work undertaken by Roche to date and the plans for the completion of the project.
Recognised as a key strategic site in the Ennis 2040 Economic and Spatial Strategy, the redevelopment of the Roche site is expected to play a key role in the economic development of County Clare in the years ahead.
Addressing visitors to the site, Dr. Georg Singewald, Head of Global Manufacturing Science, Engineering & Sustainability, Roche Basel, said: “The Roche remediation project is the largest project of this nature being undertaken in Ireland and represents a significant investment by Roche to leave a site that can enable a future investor to create sustainable employment.
“Our objectives in decommissioning the 88-acre site are twofold – to deliver a site suitable for the creation of sustainable jobs into the future and to leave a positive legacy for the local community, Clare, and Ireland.
“This process is now well underway. Today’s event is the start of planning a future for the site. Roche will leave the site once the decommissioning is complete.”
Dr. Richard Huerzeler, Roche Chief Environment & Remediation Officer, said: “This lighthouse sustainability project launched by Roche will require the involvement of all key stakeholders to chart a sustainable future for the site.”
Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Joe Cooney, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said: “Clare County Council has worked closely with Roche as a major employer in the region over many years and more recently to support the decommissioning project. Today marks the next phase on this journey and it is important that the Local Authority plays a key role in shaping the future development of the Clarecastle site.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council noted: “Clare County Council will complete a full Masterplan for the site that will set a clear vision for its future as a location for investment and employment in the Mid-West region. We look forward to embarking on this next phase in partnership with Roche, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and others. It is important that the development of the site is integrated with the overall development of Clarecastle and be complementary to the village and community.”
Cllr. Pat Daly, Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, said: “I welcome the commitment demonstrated by Roche to the remediation project currently underway at the Clarecastle site. Through these works and the efforts of Clare County Council and the other stakeholders, I believe the site will become an important location for sustainable employment in the future.”
Pictured at Roche Ireland Clarecastle where the final phase of the decommissioning of the 88-acre site has commenced (l-r): Dr. Richard Huerzeler, Roche Chief Environment & Remediation; Alison Muir, General Manager, Roche Pharma Ireland; Carmel Kirby, Director of Economic Development, Clare County Council; Dr. Georg Singewald, Head of Global Manufacturing, Science, Engineering & Sustainability, Roche Basel; Isabel Boissonnas, Global Legal Counsel and Company Director, Roche Ireland; Joe Murphy, Project Owner/Site Head, Roche Ireland Clarecastle; William McNamara, Head of Global Project Delivery, Roche; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; Councillor Joe Cooney, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council; Councillor Pat Daly, Mayor of Ennis Municipal District; and Linda Earlie, Town Regeneration Officer, Clare County Council. Photo by Eamon Ward.