Concerns about jobs at Aughinish Alumina as sanctions may not now be lifted

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The expected lifting of US sanctions against the owners of West Limerick company Aughinish Alumina has run into difficulties.

The sanctions were originally proposed last April to target Oleg Deripaska, the majority shareholder in RusAL, owner of Aughinish.

The Irish government lobbied strongly, arguing that the sanctions would have adverse consequences for Aughinish and its 460 strong workforce and hundreds of contractors.

Last month, it was announced that Deripaska had adjusted his shareholding and that sanctions against RusAL would be lifted within 30 days.

However, just days before the sanctions were due to be lifted, Democratic members of Congress in the US are coming out against the move.

Fianna Fail councillor Kevin Sheahan said it’s very worrying for the staff at Aughinish Alumina.