Thurles and Co. Tipperary TD Michael Lowry, yesterday demanded that the ‘prevailing veil of secrecy’, on issues regarding the imminent closure of Lisheen Mine, must now be discussed openly.
In a statement, published on his website yesterday, the Tipperary Deputy stated; “Following repeated requests for openness on the future plans for Lisheen Mine, the official response has been one of continuous drawn out silence.
In 2012, I sent a written letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny requesting state intervention and to this end a Task Force was set up to assist in identifying alternative sources of employment. To date this Task Force has remained silent in relation to details of any future developments which may be pending. In November 2014, I again raised this issue in the Dáil, stressing the extreme gravity of this situation and the need for immediate and pressing action.”
Lowry goes on to state that Lisheen Mine, first established in 1997, has been one of the most important sources of employment here in Co. Tipperary in most recent years. However despite repeated appeals for immediate action, the continued secrecy surrounding action on Lisheen Mine, will soon contribute to the ‘long term detrimental effect’, of our Tipperary’s economy.”
Prophesying an uncertain future ahead for Thurles and Co. Tipperary, based on a this ‘prevailing veil of secrecy’, Michael Lowry, states “The negative effects, which will be felt by both Tipperary and indeed the greater national economy can be forecast as follows,” :-
(1) Unemployment for a workforce of 380 people; amounting to some €28 million in wages and salaries lost annually, much of which is spent in the local economy.
(2) The immediate loss, by supportive local service industries, particularly in the areas of transport, fuel, tyres, general hardware, etc.; with an estimated loss expected to be in the order of some €14 million.
(3) Lisheen Mine has also been a major source of support and funding to local clubs, amenities and charities.
(4) A large well-appointed and resourced site, for the foreseeable future, will be left to lie, for the most part, redundant.
Michael Lowry is confident that this mine complex today has huge potential for immediate future investment; highlighting its immediate advantages which include:-
(A) Extensive modern offices and outbuildings, on site ready for immediate occupation.
(B) Major access via Rail and Motorway nearby, to a 1200 acre site.
(C) One of the biggest existing 38 kV electricity supply sources in the country.
(D) A massive underground aquifer capable of supplying millions of gallons of water daily.
(E) Most importantly an adaptable, highly committed workforce with an impeccable industrial relations record.
“With the rural economy continuing to decline, I now call upon the Task Force to report direct to Tipperary County Council membership and all elected membership for the county, so that established facts can be assembled and debated. I have formally requested the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, to acknowledge the full consequences of this imminent closure and to ensure that State Agencies come forward to play a real meaningful role in directing alternative industry to the site.” stated Michael Lowry.
Michael Lowry’s statement highlighting Lisheen Mine can be read in full by clicking HERE.