Marks and Spencer Shop Closure


Press Release

7th August 2013


Marks and Spencer Shop Closure

My first thoughts are with the people who have lost their jobs today and their families.

Such short notice for such bad news has left the staff shocked and devastated.

This has highlighted a real issue. If this was a manufacturing plant, with 54 jobs lost, there would be a task force on its way to Mullingar to help these people.

But it is retail, a vital part of the Irish economy and an important employer which has not been served by the Government. Value Added Tax, upward only rent reviews and austerity have all combined to crucify retailers. They need help and action, the Government must look at reducing VAT and other policies to help reinvigorate the retail industry in the October budget.

If Marks and Spencer are struggling, retail is struggling.

In Mullingar, the Chamber of Commerce, Westmeath Community Development, Westmeath County Enterprise Board and the IDA are all working to bring industry and employment to the town. There are businesses opening in town too: Midas Technologies, a new pharmacy on Austin Friar Street, a second Aldi store coming onto the Dublin Road.

Vacant premises are occupied quickly by new business and I would hope that there will be innovative budget changes to support retailers and give these businesses, employing local people, a real chance.

Pat Whelan

President of Mullingar

Chamber of Commerce



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