Cabinet Minister and Galway TD Éamon Ó Cuív has expressed dismay at the news that 500 jobs are to go with the planned closure of Abbott Vascular Devices in Galway city.

However, Mr Ó Cuív also noted the company's continuing commitment to its workforce and to its other operations in Ireland. 

Abbott has a total workforce of 3,400 at six plants in Ireland. None of the others is affected.

The Galway closure is being blamed on excess manufacturing capacity there and in California.

The Mervue Business Park operation makes stents which facilitate blood flow.

Abbott has 65,000 employees worldwide, and has had Irish operations for over 60 years.

It has operations in Dublin, Galway, Clonmel, Sligo, Donegal, Longford and Cavan.

The company said earlier that it would not comment on speculation that jobs might be cut, but that if any announcement was made it would be in the next 48 hours.

Another Galway employer, Boston Scientific, last month announced plans to cut its workforce by 100.