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Bord na Móna

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Deputy Eugene Murphy

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Snippet Contents:

A total of 150 jobs are gone and it is a total shock. None of the Oireachtas Members or councillors knew anything about this until the news started to filter out this morning. It is deplorable and unacceptable. We might be talking about the hot water coming from the power station in Lanesborough, but by God, the Government is in hot water over this decision. As Deputies Fitzmaurice and Naughten pointed out, it is all very strange. Certain questions have been asked of the Government by the previous speakers and we have more. Before I get into them, I want the Minister to realise this is not just about 150 people. Today I was calculating with my brother who is a councillor and we estimated that 600 or 700 people would be affected by this decision. Think of the poor students who are trying to raise a few bob to go back to college. Think of the part-time farmers and others in part-time work who for years have relied on Bord na Móna and were taken on, as they thought in good faith, this year, but all of sudden - bang - they have been taken out of the equation. That is not acceptable in anybody's terms and it will not be accepted by the people of the region or their representatives. As Deputy Naughten pointed out, the decision affects counties Longford and Roscommon. What is the status of the planning application submitted to Longford County Council to extend the life of the plant for a period of years? We all know that there has to be change, but change can only come over a period of years with co-operation and assistance and everyone working together. Like Deputy Fitzmaurice, I have grave doubts about this story and how it is being developed. Honest and direct answers are needed without delay.