Details of the proposed €40m transformation of the old Glanbia factory site in Rooskey into a state-of-the-art business park were unveiled at a function in Cox’s Steakhouse in Dromod, Co. Leitrim on Saturday afternoon. As exclusively revealed in last week’s Roscommon People, the Glanbia site – 37 acres in size – has been purchased by LEAD Partnership, a company associated with EDA Cox Construction. The personnel behind those companies are Leo, Eugene, Adrian and Dermot Cox, who have a number of business interests throughout counties Leitrim and Roscommon. It is envisaged that Rooskey Business Park will be completed within five years. Fifty people will be working on the project within six months of now and an estimated 150 further jobs will also be created. As outlined in last week’s People the Park will feature commercial units, retail and apartment blocks, factory space and a marina. An attractive design is a feature of the plans and the project will incorporate ample parking and is being hailed as a major facelift for the village and a significant boost for the region. Saturday’s launch was attended by members of the Oireachtas, county councillors from Leitrim and Roscommon and about 150 more invited guests from various walks of life. The attendance included the Chief Planning Officer with Roscommon County Council, Mr. Frank Flanagan. Mr. Fergal Carroll of PC Construction Services in Carrick-on-Shannon made a special presentation which outlined to the audience the nature of the proposed development. Leo Cox was first to address the attendance. He outlined how he had worked in the Glanbia factory (then Hanley’s) many years ago and added that the facility had given great employment over a long period. In a heart-felt opening comment he said that if anyone had told him twelve years ago – at a time when he had "not a penny" in his pocket and was lying in a hospital bed awaiting triple heart bypass surgery – that he would now be announcing the purchase of the factory in question, he wouldn’t have believed it. But now the dream was a reality, he said, adding that "Rooskey has been good to us." Mr. Cox said that the developers won’t have an easy task ahead of them, but they had no intention of sitting on their laurels. "Our dynamic driving force won’t diminish," he said. He then recounted how the factory which the Coxs have purchased had a proud history, first through the Hanleys and then Irish Country Bacon. Later it was taken over by Glanbia but then that "awful day" came with the fire which destroyed the boning hall and ultimately sealed the fate of the business. Mr. Cox said that the fact that Roscommon/Leitrim area didn’t have a minister had contributed to the demise of the plant and it was his hope that the current government might rectify that (the absence of a minister). Indeed he felt that Deputy Michael Finneran should have been appointed a minister. He appealed to all local politicians to be pro-active on the planning aspects of the project and asked for similar support from Roscommon County Manager Mr. John Tiernan and his staff. Leo concluded by thanking all associated with the project to date for their work and support. Padraig Carroll, MD of PC Construction Services – project architects and design consultants – urged everyone to get behind the project. This, he said, was about regenerating Rooskey and putting the village back on the map. Great credit was due to the Coxs, a family which had already created great employment in the area. Senator John Ellis complimented all associated with the proposed project. He pledged to do everything he can to have the Shannon Tax Corridor scheme apply to the Rooskey Business Park. He noted that the bypass of Rooskey would be beneficial in terms of access. Senator Ellis said that he was confident that County Manager John Tiernan and Roscommon County Council would be supportive. "We don’t want to see devious planning objections," he added. "These prevent progress and come from people with no affinity to the area." Cllrs. Sean Beirne, Tom Crosby and Eugene Murphy (Roscommon) and Damien Brennan and Sean McGowan (Leitrim) all pledged their support for the project. Cllr. Beirne said that he had already arranged meetings between the developers and Roscommon County Council personnel. This was an admirable project from an admirable company. Very often there were crocodile tears shed when jobs are lost in an area but now was the time for a ‘meitheal’ approach and general support for the LEAD Partnership and EDA Cox Construction. Cllr. Damien Brennan praised the commitment, work ethic and determination of the Coxs and said the project in question was an amazing one. He felt that with John Tiernan (Roscommon County Manager) involved "whatever is possible, will be done". Cllr. Tom Crosby recalled his own time working in Hanley’s and applauded the Coxs on their initiative. He pledged to support the project in every way possible. Cllr. Sean McGowan complimented all involved in "this very exciting venture." Cllr. Eugene Murphy was equally complimentary and added that he will be asking Minister Micheál Martin to come to Rooskey and brief himself on the plans. Formal proceedings were then wrapped up by Mr. Eugene Cox, who appealed for the support of public representatives and the general public and thanked all present for their attendance and support to date.