Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Horticulture, Jackie Cahill has said that the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation must look at providing financial support to businesses affected by Storm Ophelia in order to protect jobs.
Deputy Cahill was commenting after meeting with the management of one company, Annaveigh Plants in Cashel, and who are very worried about maintaining employment at their business over the next number of weeks and months.
“Storm Ophelia has caused widespread damage across the county, and Annaveigh Plants, in particular, suffered considerable structural destruction and damage to their stock.
“The owners have informed me that so far the cost to their business is in the region of €60,000 and they expect it to grow over the next number of weeks.
“Stock has been lost, and there has been physical damage to their facilities. There are 20 full time employees, with a total wage run of 64 people per week.
“These jobs are at risk unless one of the Government departments provides financial assistance to businesses such as Annaveigh Plants.
“In counties like Tipperary, jobs outside of traditional agri-business sectors are hard to come by. Any threat to these jobs must be dealt with.
“Many times over the last number of years, businesses such as Annaveigh have been left high and dry by the Government who failed to support them in times of major shocks.
“If the Government is true to its word, and is commitment to protecting rural Ireland, it will step in and provide some form of assistance to this and other companies.