Need for new thinking for Littleton Plant says Cahill

Anne O'Grady

Reporter:

Anne O'Grady

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill

Cahill takes new Bord na Móna Chair to task

Tipperary TD, Jackie Cahill has taken the new Chairperson Designate of Bord na Móna, Geoffrey Meagher to task for the unacceptable and unsatisfactory wind down of the Littleton Plant.

Deputy Cahill raised his deep unease and concerns at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment this week in Leinster House.

“I challenged the new Chairperson Designate on three core issues: 1) the need for a fair redundancy package that reflects the loyalty and commitment of the workers over many decades, 2) the lack of planning for future employment at the site, and 3) the proposed €60 million US investment to produce wood chip for import back in to Ireland.

"The workers at Littleton have given generations of service to Bord na Móna and under no circumstances should their redundancy package be short changed particularly when the company is in such a robust financial position.

“We have an amazing site at Littleton yet the company has shown little foresight in preparing the 1100 acre site to offer future employment in the area.

“I believe that at least least 30 jobs could be developed if Bord na Móna used the site as a horticulture centre.

“I just cannot understand how Bord na Móna can stand over their proposed €60 million investment in the US where they plan to produce wood chip for importation back to Ireland.

“Not only is this economically not justified but it is also environmentally reckless. This is the equivalent of rearing cows in Mexico and shipping them back to Ireland for slaughter.

“This move still requires Governmental approval, and I will lobby the Minister to use his veto to stop such a retrograde move. The Littleton plant needs to move up the list of priorities for Bord na Móna and the Government. Its local economic importance cannot be underestimated,” concluded Cahill.