Independent TD Carol Nolan has said she and much of her constituency were highly sceptical of Bord na Mona’s claim that it will create hundreds of jobs in the midlands in coming years.
The remarks were made after Bord na Mona CEO Tom Donnellan declared last week that the organisation would be creating around 1,100 windfarm jobs nationally, including as many as 885 in the midlands region over the next 5 years.
However, Laois-Offaly TD Carol Nolan was dubious.
“Most ordinary workers and families listening to the recent announcement by Bord na Mona will not have greeted this with the kind of unrestrained enthusiasm that the company was hoping for,” she said.
‘Instead they will have looked to the history of Bord na Mona’s actions over the last number of years and realised that here is a company that has reneged and back-tracked on firm commitments regarding the time period of the Just Transition strategy, bringing it down from a manageable ten year period to a few months, irrespective of the impact on employment that this decision brought about.
“They will have remembered the kind of treatment that part time peat contractors received, and they will have seen the capitulation of the company to an incoherent green agenda that, even as we speak, is threatening 17,000 jobs in the horticulture sector through the ability to source indigenous supplies of peat and growing media and ten thousand jobs in forestry.
“Is that what a commitment to generating rural employment in renewables and the circular economy looks like?”
The Deputy went on to slam the idea that these jobs could be created in the wind farm industry, arguing that wind farms are very difficult to plan and build in local communities.
“Bord na Mona also say that many of these jobs will supposedly be created in operations like wind farms,” she said.
“But the fact of the matter is this; there is simply no way that these jobs or wind farms can be guaranteed when you factor in the right of local people to protest about their location and the complexity of our planning process.
“The unfortunate reality is this; very many people in Offaly, Laois and the wider midlands region have lost faith in Bord na Mona. They simply do not believe that company is genuinely out to protect their interest.
“The announcement by Mr Donnellan and the gloss put on it by Taoiseach Martin and Minister Ryan will have done absolutely nothing to diminish that plain fact,” concluded the Offaly TD.”
Gript covered the Bord na Mona story in more detail with a series of interviews with the workers directly affected, the link to which can be found below.
Bord na Móna has moved to end all peat harvesting from Irish bogs – now Irish workers watch as briquettes and energy are being imported from Germany and elsewhere. Gript speaks to some of those affectedhttps://t.co/4MTHNQgHGM pic.twitter.com/x0ZjwohaO8
— gript (@griptmedia) February 18, 2021