UP to 200 people attended a meeting in Ballyconnell last night to discuss "growing fears" over the future of Quinn jobs in Fermanagh and Cavan.

The meeting, organised by Concerned Irish Citizens, featured contributions from a number of speakers, including former Quinn executives and local business and political representatives.

It was also attended by Sean Quinn jnr, the son of jailed businessman Sean Quinn.

Martin Maguire of FEDO (Fermanagh Economic Development Organisation) suggested the IBRC-owned Quinn Group could face serious financial problems by May 2013, adding: "The future of the Quinn Group is concerning for all of us, whether you know Sean Quinn or not."

David Mackey, who was chief executive of the Quinn Group in Derrylin for several years, said negative thoughts were not going to help address such concerns, instead he called on those present to "start lighting candles instead of cursing the darkness".

John Maguire, former chief executive of the Irish Concrete Federation, called on the politicians from both sides of the Border to do something to help.

"How the hell do we get ourselves out of this? I call on politicians to set up a special all-party task force," he said.

"Collectively 450 years of industry and manufacturing experience has been obliterated," wrote Denis Doogan, former Quinn director, in a letter read out at the meeting.

He added: "The vendetta against Sean Quinn has now become a vendetta against the people of this region."

Addressing the politicians, including Sinn Fein's Michelle Gildernew and Phil Flanagan, a member of the public said: "The entire political system failed this area. The Quinn family have been treated abysmally."

In response, Mr Flanagan said: "I could sit here for three months and listen to criticism but it won't save one job."

"We feel the establishment has let us down in Cavan and Fermanagh. We will fight tooth and nail to save jobs," added Mrs Gildernew.

For full coverage of the meeting check out this week's Impartial Reporter.