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Snippet Contents:

The decision this morning to lay off 148 people will have a devastating impact on those to be laid off, their families, the community of Lanesborough and much further afield. To my mind, the State bodies, comprising the ESB, the EPA and Bord na Móna, have been negligent in their attitude in dealing with these employees. They have failed them. They have failed loyal employees who have worked hard for the State; many of their families have done so for generations.
The ESB was first made aware of the change to the regulations on water discharges back in 2013. Why did it only recently submit an application to the planning authority? Will the Minister confirm whether it was withdrawn and had to be resubmitted because the first was not of good enough quality? We know that there has to be change, but the employees were promised, as some of the previous speakers said, a just transition to 2027. This is far from a just transition. There is a fear that there is a sinister attempt to use the EPA to close down the plant. The people want the truth and they deserve it. What is the bigger picture for the plant and the employees? When was the Minister made aware of this decision? What has he done to date to try to prevent the decision from becoming a reality? This morning the Minister was asked by two of my colleagues to bring the three organisations together to see whether the matter could be resolved in a timely fashion. Has he done so and, if not, why not? When will he bring the three organisations together? What supports are being put in place today for the affected families?