Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has described as positive the announcement by Bord na Mona today (16th October) that they are to invest €1.6 Billion into its operations over the next 10 years.

Senator Hopkins stated, “The announcement today is an important demonstration of commitment to the midlands region by the company.”

“In particular, a €60 million investment in waste recycling and resource recovery will create up to 100 new jobs and a €20 million investment in their green business will lead to the creation of between 150 and 300 jobs over the next five years.”

“An agreement for peat supply to the ESB has been concluded to continue until the end of 2020. What is important, with these investments we must see the maximum number of redeployment opportunities for existing Bord Na Mona staff, this must include retraining where that is necessary.”

Senator Hopkins continued, “I know that some staff will wish to avail of voluntary redundancies and it is important that the existing scheme will be extended to accommodate their needs.”

“There is major potential for the company as they move into new industries as part of the transition away from peat. I continue to emphasise strongly to my colleague, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. the need for support for this region. The ‘Just Transition’ must properly support workers and communities.”

“Budget 2020 will support retraining and reskilling workers and local communities and businesses in the midlands.  €5 million will be put in place for bog restoration and rehabilitation which will assist in restoring bogs to their natural habitat and become sinks that absorb carbon. This programme will support the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to restore 1,800 hectares of bog in 7 counties, resulting in 28m tonnes of carbon stored over the next 5 years. It is planned this will create 70 jobs in year one rising to 100 as the programme develops.  €20 million will be allocated to deliver a new model to group housing upgrades together as set out in the Climate Action Plan. This work will be targeted at the Midlands, which will support an estimated 400 jobs directly and indirectly, as well as significantly upgrading the social stock in the region during 2020.”

Senator Hopkins concluded, “I continue to work closely with Minister Bruton in order to deliver supports for this region. This investment by Bord na Mona and the measures secured in Budget 2020 provide a strong platform to secure the future of the company as a major employer across the region.”