Taoiseach accepts no economic recovery evident in Roscommon

‘You plough a field…then wait until crop grows’ – Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has accepted that no economic recovery is evident in Co. Roscommon yet – but he has urged people to be patient.

  Mr Kenny was speaking in Strokestown Park House on Monday afternoon, where he announced that the Irish Heritage Trust would be operating the venue, along with the National Famine Museum, over the next ten years.

  At the event, Jim Callery, whose company, Westward Holdings, owns the entire facility, bemoaned the state of the local economy.

  He said that, while a recovery was evident in other parts of the country, Co. Roscommon was still in the depths of recession.

  “Roscommon is the only inland county in Ireland,” he said. “So we have no sea, no tide, no lifting boats. So we haven’t been part of the lifting tide at all.

  “There is definite proof that there is a lifting tide and an increase in employment, but this area – or Roscommon – hasn’t benefited.”

  Mr Callery called for the Government to act; otherwise, he said the population of the area would decrease sharply over the coming years.

  “This section of the country wants major help…” he said. “It is going to cause (create) employment. There is a lot of farmers who are part-time farmers in this area because the land isn’t too bad. That would keep them on the land.

  “If there isn’t something available within the next two decades, we are going to go back to ranching. We would be like New Zealand.”

  Asked afterwards about Mr Callery’s remarks, the Taoiseach did not deny there was some foundation to the lament.

  He said: “Jim Callery is correct here…of course the recovery hasn’t benefited everybody to their benefit yet.”

  However, the Taoiseach insisted that the recovery, particularly evident in major cities, would eventually spread to Co. Roscommon.

  He said: “You plough a field; you harrow it; you sow it; you roll it. You have all of the hard work done.

  “What do you do then? You have to wait with a degree of patience until the crop grows. It is the same with an economy.

  “I have to turn down Minister after Minister who want hundreds of millions because we don’t have the resources. And my job, given to me by the people, was to fix our finances and put our country back to work.

  “That is why we have developed regional action plans for every region of the country, based on their weaknesses and on their strengths.”