Cowen calls for immediate publishing of Just Transition report

Published on: 06 May 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has welcomed the approval granted to Bord na Móna (BnM) to begin harvesting peat.

Deputy Cowen was commenting following a lengthy delay which saw An Bord Peanála stall in making a decision on Bord na Móna’s planning application for peat harvesting.

He said, “After so many knocks to BnM workers I am glad to finally see this approval being granted. It means Edenderry can continue its co-fuelling operation and the immediate future of Derrinlough Briquette Factory is secure.

“It also means there will be a limited supply for Shannonbridge and Lanesboro Power Stations to the end of the year, so they can operate as long as there is an increased demand and price for electricity as Ireland gets back to work.

“Nonetheless, while this is a small relief for BnM workers, it’s not exactly a game changer when it comes to the viability of the midlands.

“At every turn, the orderly, pre-planned, decarbonisation process, set out by the Government, has been accelerated, far outstripping any investment in the area. The future of the midlands now depends on the State committing to special and targeted supports for the region.

“There can be no more delays in the publishing of the Just Transition Commissioner’s report. It is my intention that this report will feed into any programme for Government negotiations and I will ensure that Fianna Fáil and our negotiating partners understand the need for adequate compensation and new opportunities in the midlands,” he concluded.