Lowry calls on 32nd Dáil to engage in urgent constructive debate on rural Ireland
Independent TD Michael Lowry has called for an immediate, focused and balanced debate by all elected TD’s, with regard to planning a future for rural Ireland. Commenting on recent radical proposals for Ireland’s development by Mr John Moran (Former Secretary-General at the Department of Finance), Deputy Lowry stated that he disagreed with many of the views expressed by Mr Moran, with regard to his future vision for rural Ireland.
Using the comparative example of Ireland versus France; Mr Moran had declared that France was “pulling back services from less efficient parts of their country and encouraging those areas to develop a different business model.”
“How can rural Ireland attract a ‘different business model’, when such areas have been totally stripped of infrastructure and investment, with little attempt at supporting regional development. To advance a ‘different business model’ would entail a modern rural road network as part of other required infrastructure. Mr Moran appears to be unaware that the National Roads Fund decreased from €608 million in 2008 to a current figure of €294 million in 2015. In 2011 Tipperary received €45 million for roads. In 2016 this had fallen to €25 million. Also in 2015 some €439 million was made available to the semi-State utility Irish Water; taken from motor tax payment and local property tax.”
Deputy Lowry continued: “The IDA must immediately begin to invest in advance industrial infrastructure in places like Co. Tipperary; providing ready-to-go turnkey facilities with access to high-speed broadband being a priority. Neglect of infrastructure and investment in turn has had a domino effect in relation to the lack of job opportunities for a highly skilled and well educated workforce. The previous government and national agencies have done little or nothing to correct this current urban / rural imbalance. Young people are being forced to leave their homes, families and communities daily. Emigration has also had a massive impact on close local communities; particularly on sports clubs, who are suffering from decimation by the forced flight of its younger membership.
Back during the emergence of our Irish State; using our then fiscal capabilities, we established one industry after another. Ensuring not to make new developments simply localized affairs; we spread new factories as wide as possible throughout the State. This was done to avoid the problems of the over-centralization of industry; becoming part of a plan to make industry conform to the general well-being of rural areas. Same industries were predominantly placed in agricultural based areas, sharing in an industrial revival, offering work to those who otherwise would have departed via an emigrant ship. During this same period our Irish economy saw the net value of industrial products increased from over €18.25 million to over €28.25 million; while wages paid to production workers increased by €4.25 million and placed eighty thousand additional workers into steady regular employment.
Year after year, small shops, post offices and Garda Stations are shrinking. Fewer homes are being constructed, resulting in no work for builders and associated trades. Fewer children are being born; school numbers and teachers are reduced leading to inevitable school closures. The shortage of priests is leading to parishes becoming clustered with grave implications for church communities.
Urban centres must not forget that our valuable agricultural exports continue to emanate from a currently neglected rural Ireland” concluded Deputy Lowry
More than 130 jobs are at risk at Suir Pharma Ireland Ltd, located on the Waterford Road in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. This scenario follows the appointment, by the High Court, of a provisional liquidator to this Tipperary-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company.
Suir Pharma Ireland Ltd, Waterford Road, Clonmel, Co.Tipperary.
Originally named Clonmel Chemicals; the company had been involved in the manufacture of generic medicines for some 40 years in Clonmel, and today has been declared insolvent and is expected to be wound up.
Suir Pharma Ireland Ltd have blamed for its current difficulties, irreversible losses of some €4.9m during the 15 months prior to March 2015. The company sustained a large drop in sales in the US market late last year; and today projected further losses for future years.
The parent company Saneca Pharmaceuticals, which acquired Suir Pharma in June 2015, is understood not to be willing to further fund the operation, leaving it with no alternative but to apply to the High Court for the appointment of a Provisional Liquidator.
Insolvency practitioner Mr Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton has been appointed as the Provisional Liquidator of the company by Mr Justice Michael Twomey. Mr McAteer has also been granted the ability by the High Court to allow the company to continue to trade, and to take steps to secure the company’s assets.
According to figures from the CSO, the number of persons claiming Welfare Benefit, have fallen by 644 persons during the month of April. Note these figures, shown hereunder, are accessed using the search criteria; All Ages, Both Sexes, Social Welfare Office and Month.
As of the end of April 2016 however, 12,407 persons still remain in receipt of some form of Unemployment or other Social Welfare Benefit.
Of the 644 persons indicated in this last months statistics; some no doubt will be absent due to unfortunate death; emigration; short-time contracts; those re-registering at other Social Welfare offices while actively in search of possible work and other Community Work Placement Initiatives e.g. Tús.
To this end we will be watching closely the CSO figures produced over the coming months.
Hope you filled your Census correctly. Water comes uncontrolled from the Sky, thank God.
We were gathered in the Arch Bar in Liberty Square celebrating, having completed filling-up the Census form last weekend. There was myself and Mick; all two of us supping pints to beat the band, while discussing, reasonably I hasten to add, the all important political issues currently pertaining to our local Tipperary economy.
Discussions centred mainly around former Minister Alan Kelly and the unpaid €3 a week Irish Water invoices; the 1,432 pre-election jobs he promised to North & South Tipperary, which never appeared to actually materialise; the sudden jolt to people’s pockets as a €3.50 a week flat tax was seized in the Budget, through the implementation of an increase in tobacco costs; and the more than generous Labour Party donation of €3 per week, granted to old aged pensioners. It was not surprising then that the sticky issue of Kelly’s failure to provide that new era of faster Broadband to rural Tipperary; (promised in 2014), would raise its ugly head.
In relation to the latter topic, Paddy more than illustrated the overall devastating consequences to family life of this Alan Kelly broadband failure. In graphic detail he told me the heart breaking story of the local family, whose mother-in-law arrived home from Lidl, to find her son-in-law David rushing around in a steaming rage, hurriedly packing his few belongings.
“What’s happening David ?” she asks anxiously.
“What’s happening?, What’s happening? I’ll tell you what’s happened”, the obviously enraged David ranted. “I sent an email to my wife; yes your daughter Victoria, this very morning informing her I was coming home today from my fishing trip. I get home here and guess what I find? Yes, your daughter, my wife Victoria, naked with Francie Murphy in our marital bed! This behaviour is unforgivable; it’s the end of our marriage; I’m done with her – done with you – and I’m out of here forever!”
“Ah now, calm down, calm down David!” says his mother-in-law. “Sure there’s something very odd going on here. My daughter would never behave in such a manner! There must be a very simple explanation. I’ll phone her immediately and find out the truth of what really happened.”
Moments later, his mother-in-law comes back with a big, wide smile. “David” said she, “Didn’t I tell you there was a very simple explanation ….. sure she never got your feckin E-mail!”
I ask you is it any wonder that Alan Kelly’s Labour Constituency Office has closed suddenly on Slievenamon Road, as our much loved rural Tipperary is allowed to sinks further into deep decline.
Changes to the Tipperary Live Register figures for March 2016, compared against the previous month February, continue to remain modest.
In the North of the county the ‘Live Register’ figures actually increased by 12 persons, while in the South of the county same figures decreased by 76 persons, showing an overall decrease to the Live Register for Co. Tipperary of 64 persons.
Live Register figures for the first quarter of 2016 show an overall decrease of 182 for the three month period January through to March inclusive, and a long way from the 1,432 jobs promised by Fine Gael, leading up six months prior to the recent 2016 General Election.
The figures shown above also do not take in to account the recent announcement of 125 job losses at the 30 year old SunPharma Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals plant in Cashel. Same job losses were announced on the 31st of March, 2016 and are expected to come into effect at the end of April with the plant completely shutting down by the middle of May 2016.