Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has called for an all of Government response to the issues which have arisen in relation to ESB and Bórd na Móna over the past number of weeks at sites in Lanesborough and Shannonbridge.

Senator Hopkins stated that “I attended a meeting yesterday with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. in Tullamore yesterday 31st July 2019 on the issue along with other public representatives.” 

Senator Hopkins continued, “I have been in regular contact with both the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. and Minister Bruton on this issue over the past number of days and weeks.”

“There remains a significant level of uncertainty at present and this is causing distress for many of the affected workers and their families. I have been asking for clarity on the matter and on options available to secure the future of both plants and maintain quality employment for affected workers.”

“Hundreds of workers across this region rely on each of these stations for either direct or indirect employment. They must be our first priority and I have made this point very clear to An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton.”

“We know that changes need to be made in the long term.  However, this change so far has not been structured, planned or organised with clear aims and objectives taking account of employees and local communities. It is very important that the Government, Bord na Mona and ESB work out an agreed plan in order to support workers and deal with the challenges of climate change.”

“We have so much potential across this region and I continue to work tirelessly to ensure that we can unlock that potential. During the recession, it was rural communities that brought the country back from the brink. It should not be now that these same communities have to fall at the feet of climate change.”

Senator Hopkins concluded, “I continue to engage extensively with my colleagues in Government to ensure that we have a comprehensive plan for these regions.”