Ryan ‘must respond’ on local job losses

Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy has welcomed the fact that the new Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Eamon Ryan TD has accepted an invitation to visit the Longford/Roscommon region to see at first hand the fallout from the loss of Bord na Mona and ESB jobs.

During last week’s Seanad discussion on the second stage of the National Oil Reserves Agency (Amendment) and Provision of Central Treasury Services Bill 2020, Senator Murphy raised the issue of job losses in the region with Minister Ryan.

As part of the planning conditions of the closure of the ESB power stations in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge, the structures must be demolished. Senator Murphy has long championed the need to examine alternatives for the use of the power stations.

“Decarbonisation is no longer a buzzword. It is a reality for every part of our society. How we achieve it and overcome difficulties will be challenging but those difficulties will not be overcome by creating us-and-them situations. Incorrect material is sometimes put out in order to frighten people.”

“The situation relating to Bord na Móna and Just Transition is shocking. The transition was to occur over an eight-year period but has happened virtually overnight. That has created a great challenge. I know that the Minister has taken a keen interest in the matter. The people of Shannonbridge, Ballinasloe, Lanesboro, Longford, and Roscommon look forward to engaging on the matter. Let us come forward with jobs. All the better if they are green jobs,” said Senator Murphy.

The Fianna Fáil Senator also highlighted the fact that Bord na Móna and the ESB were the ‘economic lifeline of our locality for 70 years and thousands of people relied on them’.

 “We all must acknowledge that change is coming rapidly but we must ensure that those communities are not left behind,” said Senator Murphy.

Minister Ryan said Just Transition will be good for rural Ireland, including Roscommon and Longford. “It has to be. Many of these energy projects will be located in rural Ireland and I absolutely agree with Senator Murphy that this cannot be a case of them and us.”

The Minister suggested Bord na Móna going from brown to green is a real possibility for the company.

“I look forward to Minister Ryan visiting the Longford/Roscommon region for further discussions on this issue,” concluded Senator Murphy.