Thursday, 11 July 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Simon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
It is a specific environmental issue with licensing, water cooling systems and so on in respect of discharge. It needs to be resolved, but the Deputy is correct that in the medium term the challenges will be significant. Having said that, Bord na Móna has been planning for this and talked to its workforce about it for years. It is already diversifying. Recently it created 50 jobs in the opening of a plastics recycling plant in Littleton. It is, therefore, investing in a workforce that did not previously exist. Through the midlands regional enterprise plan, it's transition plan and regional enterprise strategies for urban and rural funding, much of which is available from the Government, we will work with Bord na Móna, those who work in it and their families in the transition which needs to happen throughout the midlands to move away from peat as a power source and perhaps use it for many other things, as outlined in the climate strategy. The State will support the efforts of the company and its workforce in the years ahead.