Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has slammed what he says is an apparent agenda to lay off Lough Ree Power Station workers in Lanesboro.
Speaking following Monday evening’s protest in Lanesboro, Deputy Fitzmaurice said he was concerned that the agenda was being driven by some Bord na Móna personnel who are intent on letting staff go.
“As I said at yesterday’s meeting, we sat down with Bord na Mona a year ago and they waxed lyrically about their vision for the future – calling it a ‘just transition’.
“But recent developments have proven to us that Bord na Mona are trying to force through an ‘unjust transition’.
“It was heartening to see the crowd which turned out to support the workers on Monday evening. Many of those people present had a family member or friend who worked in the bogs in the Mount Dillon area,” he said.
Deputy Fitzmaurice added: “When Bord na Móna’s decarbonisation plan was revealed, it had been agreed that the company would look for around 450 redundancies while the remaining workers would be left with a clear path of work for the next few years while the company diversified its operations.
“We also sat down with Bord na Móna representatives recently and pledged our support to try and help them to maintain as many jobs in rural Ireland as possible”.
Deputy Fitzmaurice added that he was disappointed to hear that the ESB’s power plant in Shannonbridge, Co. Offaly had been refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanala, saying that it represented a danger to a further 300 jobs on top of the uncertainity in Co. Longford. He echoed SIPTU’s demands that Minister Richard Bruton intervene in the crisis.