Waterford Labour Dail Deputy Brian O’Shea has demanded of the government that it does everything possible to protect jobs at Waterford Crystal.

He was responding to the request for support from the UNITE union’s regional secretary Jimmy Kelly, the former union official at the crystal plant who in turn was backing the company’s application for a €39 million guaranteed government loan.

Calling on the government to do all in its power to ensure continuation of the keystone industry, Deputy O’Shea emphasised: “Waterford Crystal is a vital part of the economy of Waterford and the wider south east region. For generations it has been one of the biggest employers in the area, both directly and indirectly through the income it generates in the region. Sales of Waterford Crystal are also an important income generator for retail outlets right across Ireland. It is also a landmark Irish brand which embodies a great tradition of craftsmanship and design”.