250 people employed at Stiefel Laboratories in Sligo have been told that the company is planning to close, while 80 BERU workers are to lose their jobs in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Stiefel has been in Sligo since 1975 and was taken over in July by GlaxoSmithkline. It produces a range of prescription and over-the-counter products for the treatment of skin disorders such as psoriasis and acne.

A statement issued by the company says that it is proposing to cease operations by the end of 2013. It says the decision is part of a global review of the Stiefel operation following tis acquisition by GSK.

The work done in Sligo will be transferred to other company facilities where there is currently under-capacity.

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan expressed 'deep disappointment' at the news but noted the 'long run-down' until 2013. Ms Coughlan said the IDA was in talks with the parent company about potential opportunities to develop the site in Sligo.

GSK says it will now enter into consultation with the staff in Sligo, and by March next year it should be clearer as to how the operation will be wound down.

Meanwhile, a company which manufactures electronic components for car manufacturers is to lay off 80 of its workers in Tralee, Co Kerry.

The lay-offs were announced to workers at BERU Electronics this evening, at a meeting between the workers and German executives of the company. They follow the loss of 40 jobs from the plant earlier in the year.

In a statement, BERU said the Tralee plant is currently loss-making and the redundancies were necessary to avoid a possible closure of the plant.

The firm currently employs 200 people in Tralee and the company said it remains committed to its operations in Ireland. BERU has had a plant in Tralee since 1985.

SIPTU has described the job losses as another massive blow to employment in Tralee and North Kerry. BERU Ireland's plant manager Paddy Lange said the decision was regrettable and distressing for staff.

New jobs for Connemara and Derry

There was better jobs news today for the West and the North when pharmaceutical company Bioniche Pharma said a new research facility opened today would create 25 new jobs over the next three years.

The €2.5m project at Indreabhán, Connemara, was developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta. Bioniche currently employs 160 people and is owned by US private equity group RoundTable Healthcare.

A call centre in Derry city has announced it is recruiting 150 new staff. Firstsource, based in India, serves the banking, financial services, telecoms and healthcare sectors. The new jobs will be based at Spencer Road in Derry.