An appeal has gone to government from Tramore Town Council to “save” Waterford Crystal.

At the Council’s January meeting on Tuesday night Cllr Lola O’Sullivan proposed sending the request to the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Waterford’s Minister for Art, Sport and Tourism, Martin Cullen.

She said the industry was too important to families throughout the city and county and should not be let die.

Cllr Ann Marie Power pointed out that visitor numbers to the factory’s showrooms at Kilbarry in 2006 totalled 310,000, each of them spending a minimum of €100, which amounted to €31 million. “That’s an indication of its importance in economic terms”, she said, “apart from the human side of the equation”.

Cllr Blaise Hannigan said the crystal product within the Waterford Wedgwood company was a profit-maker and should be retained. Besides, the glass workers traditionally had been extremely generous to charitable causes and it was only right that now in their hour of need they should get all the support that could be mustered.

Deputy Mayor Pat O’Callaghan said he could see no reason why a government which had shown such generosity towards the banks should not bail out an industry which had contributed so much to the economy. He was also concerned that the workers’ pension rights be secured.