Calls for proactive response on Bord na Mona jobs’ setback






The decision by Bord na Mona to begin the process of ceasing its peat business will result in about 430 job losses. The redundancies will be voluntary and staff will be offered an exit package.

  The redundancies will be negotiated with unions – and management wants as many as possible to take effect over the next year or so.

  This area will be impacted by the Bord na Móna decision.

  Deputy Denis Naughten, until recently the Minister with responsibility for this industry, said that many families and individuals throughout the midlands’ will be anxious about the announcement.

  Deputy Naughten said that since becoming Minister (he resigned recently) he had been working closely with the company on its plans to transition away from peat harvesting to more long-term sustainable jobs.

  “I have also engaged directly with workers and their representatives, and I intend to continue this work as a local TD,” commented Denis Naughten.

  Deputy Naughten welcomed the fact that the company is going to engage directly with staff across the country.

  He added: “I have pointed out to management that each bog, as well as its impact on the workers and community, needs to be assessed and that there should be no final decision on the operation of any bog until this process is completed.

  “For example, in some areas there may be alternative employment opportunities for both full-time and seasonal staff but in other areas this is just not possible”.

  Deputy Naughten said that every effort must be made to maximise the number of jobs in the midlands.

  He added: “During my term as Minister I made it crystal clear to the ESB that my number one priority for the company was to ensure that the power stations in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge secured planning permission for co-firing with biomass and to move to a situation of 100% locally sourced biomass to fuel the two plants”. 

  Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has called on Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys and Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Environment Richard Bruton to engage with Bord na Mona workers who are facing redundancy.

  Senator Hopkins stated: “I have spoken to many people in South Roscommon, East Galway and across this region who will be impacted by this announcement.

  “While this news will not come as a shock to many, it is still very disappointing for workers who have devoted their entire working lives to Bord na Mona. It is important that measures are now put in place to support those workers and the local communities affected”.

  She added: “I have emphasised to Minister Bruton and Minister Humphreys the need for measures to allow these workers to upskill to be put in place to allow them to seek alternative employment opportunities”.