Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe says real efforts need to be made at State and local level to protect jobs at Moneypoint and to open new avenues to those workers whose jobs will be lost as a result of the ESB’s decision to reduce production at the facility.

Cllr. Crowe says the announcement is a huge blow to the area and has stressed the importance of social dialogue, investment and community support at this difficult time for workers.

“The news that almost half of the jobs at the Moneypoint plant are to go came as a huge shock to locals. Despite rumours in recent months, I don’t think anyone expected a reduction of this scale. It’s a massive blow for the region, and real efforts need to be made to see what options can be explored for those whose jobs will be lost”, said Cllr. Crowe.

“We are all aware of the need for a shift from fossil fuels to greener options and the government needs to get serious about living up to the commitments it has made.

“In March the Joint Oireachtas on Climate Action produced a landmark report which examined in detail on the need for immediate interventions for sectors impacted by a transition to a decarbonised society.

“This report stated that it was “cognisant of the impact on those whose livelihoods are dependent on Moneypoint. Engagement with those whose employment will be affected by the closure of Moneypoint should commence at least three years prior to any proposed closure date. In the event of any decision to close Moneypoint or to end peat production, the Government in the interests of a just transition will guarantee to underwrite the current pay, conditions and pensions rights of workers affected who remain in continued employment in State renewable energy industries.”

“Fine Gael need to uphold this commitment and look at options such as the delivery of home retrofitting and the generation of biogas on farms, to create potential employment for those whose jobs will be lost through the decarbonisation agenda”, said Cllr. Crowe.