Naughten seeks public comment on Lough Ree Power decision
Denis Naughten TD has called on both Bord na Mona & Minister Richard Bruton to publicly comment on the ESB’s decision to shut down its operations at Lough Ree Power in Lanesboro, following the decision to close West Offaly Power in Shannonbridge last week.
“It is now a week since notification was given on the closure of the Offaly power station and yet we have had no comment from Minister Bruton or Bord na Mona on the future job prospects of over 230 staff across the Midlands,” stated Denis Naughten.
“This decision has huge implications for job retention, not just in the two power plants and the associated bogs, but right across the region and we need to hear from Minister Bruton and Bord na Mona who have yet to make a comment on the closure.
“While everybody across Ireland is understandably concerned about businesses being closed as a result of Covid-19, we now have a situation in the Midlands where there may be no work for hundreds of Bord na Mona and ESB staff once the current restrictions are lifted.
“My fear is that this issue, while a priority before Christmas, will be pushed under the carpet after the Covid crisis. While there is much work to be done to plan for our future economy after the current health emergency, much of the planning should have been completed on the Bord na Mona job situation and we now need to see practical action.
“There is no reason why mentoring support and advice cannot be provided remotely to those who want to start a new business. Skills analysis, career advice and some retraining can also be done remotely and this needs to happen now not in November.
“The learning from this could then be adapted to support workers across the wider economy who may be facing the prospect of not returning to work. The current Covid restrictions cannot be used as an excuse to do nothing. The present situation is serious and we need to see leadership from both Bord na Mona and the Minister on this vital issue,” concluded Denis Naughten.