As someone whose genealogical roots extend back to Ireland, this is, indeed, saddening.
At its height in 2002, Waterford employed 3,200 people, but that number will soon drop to approximately 125.
The company’s plant will remain in Dublin, though it will become primarily a tourist attraction, rather than a manufacturing plant. Waterford, which manufactures the ball dropped each New Year’s Eve in Times Square, draws about 300,000 tourists each year.
The decline of the dollar is partially to blame, as about half of the company’s revenue comes from American consumers. Also to blame are the living wages paid Western European workers; Eastern European laborers can produce high-quality goods for far less pay.