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Bord na Móna

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Snippet Contents:

I thank the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment for taking the time to discuss this very important topic. My thoughts are with the staff of Bord na Móna and their families on what has been a very difficult day for them. Many of these people are my constituents. Many people hear the words Bord na Móna and think of bogs in Offaly, but there are 330 administrative and management staff working in the biggest town in my county, in Newbridge. It is one of the biggest employers there. There are also 70 or 80 people working in Kilberry at the peat moss plant. Those people knew that this day was coming, but it has still been a difficult week. Part of my frustration is the fact that there was an announcement of job losses yesterday without news of the package that would be available to those taking voluntary redundancies. I would have preferred if people going home last night who were going to be sitting down with their families to talk about their future had that level of detail, because it is a very difficult time. Some of those people will be thinking about taking a package, and others will want to be a part of Bord na Móna's next phase as it moves towards an economically and environmentally sustainable future. We want these redundancies to be voluntary, but for that to happen the package has to be generous, in line with redundancies in other semi-State agencies such as RTÉ and An Post. It must be worth taking, and it should take into account the service staff have given to the company and the upheaval they will face in trying to change roles.
Can the Minister touch on the supports it will make available to the company and to the staff who are thinking of leaving? In terms of support from Europe and the just transition to a low-carbon economy, what supports are there for the Government to help it ensure the future viability of the company as it seeks to move from brown to green?