UP TO 70 jobs are expected to go at the former Quinn Insurance business in Enniskillen it emerged yesterday as new owners Lberty Insurance announced it is to shed a total of 285 jobs at offices on both sides of the border.
The company said it expects to cut 140 positions in Dublin, 75 in Cavan, and 70 in Enniskillen.
There are currently around 500 employees in each of the affected offices.
Patrick O’Brien, chief executive of Liberty Insurance, said the redundancies were necessary a year after acquiring the business to protect the remaining 1,100 jobs.
“We are fully committed to the Irish business, will continue to invest in our business, and believe that our arrival has been positive for the Irish insurance market and consumers,” he said.
Staff were informed of the developments today ahead of a 30-day consultation period.
Liberty said it hoped most of the lay-offs would be voluntary.
The company also announced plans to target general insurance customers in Northern Ireland and Britain.
It said the decision to enter the market secured 415 jobs within the Irish operations.
The losses in Enniskillen wil leave the workforce at around 415.
Two years ago, more than 900 employees at the then Quinn Insurance took redundancy.
At the time, administrators battled to save the business after the Financial Regulator put a ban on some business operations in the form of services the firm had been offering.
Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the job losses would have an impact on the whole community.
Mrs Foster, the DUP MLA for Fermanagh, said: “Today’s news is extremely regrettable, not only for those who will potentially be impacted by the redundancies, but for Fermanagh and the wider economy.
“Having spoken with the company today, I understand that these redundancies are part of Liberty’s plans to stabilise the business and set strong foundations for the future.
“I’m told the decision to enter a consultation period was a difficult one but it follows many months of assessment and close examination of the business to determine the most viable way forward.”
As a respected, successful international company which had had a presence in Northern Ireland for more than 12 years, she said Liberty had a positive track record in growing through acquisition.
She added that her department would work closely with the company to offer assistance with any future development of business in Fermanagh.