Cork County on the Rise: Big pharma feels at home in Cork
In 1969, when global biopharmaceutical company Pfizer located in Ringaskiddy, Cork was a very different place. Verolme, the Dutch-owned shipyard in Rushbrooke, was busy making ships, some of them patrol and fisheries vessels for the State. For generations, workers at the Sunbeam factory in Blackpool had been making textiles. On the banks of the Lee, Ford, or Ford’s as it was known locally, operated an assembly plant that made cars and tractors for places as far away as Argentina. If they needed tyres, Dunlop was only down the road. In the 50 years since, all of these companies have disappeared except Pfizer. Ringaskiddy was Pfizer’s first Irish location. Since then, the company has expanded to six sites in the country, including in Little Island. From an initial investment of €10m in 1969, Pfizer’s investment in Ireland is now €8bn, with a €2bn contribution annually to the economy. Pfizer has a 3,700-strong workforce, making it one of the country’s largest employers.