Bishop Francis Duffy calls for prayers for Bord na Móna staff and their families
Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, released the following statement in response to the news of the job losses at Bord na Móna.
“Like many others I heard with concern the news of the job losses in Bord na Móna. The loss of up to 430 jobs is a devastating blow to employees in the midlands region, their families and to the local economy. As well as being a vital energy resource, this semi-state company had a mandate to create employment for the region. The midlands now faces the real prospect of falling into a sharp regional recession unless multi-agency action is taken immediately.
“I am asking that special prayers be said at Masses throughout the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois this weekend. I ask that prayers be said for the intentions of the employees and for the prospect of future employment.
“I also ask that the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys, a rural TD, and relevant State agencies, to prioritise our region in terms of sustaining employment opportunities for this skilled workforce.
“This shocking announcement not only directly affects Bord na Móna workers but, in addition, it jeopardises thousands of ancillary jobs which have been created since the 1940s, and which rely for survival on the pay spend of the workers.
“It is incumbent on our public representatives to continue to seek a commitment from government to assist these workers by every means possible. With our economy in the midlands still under par with the rest of the country, our community needs support today more than ever. I cannot overstate the depth of the impact that the loss of a major source of employment like Bord na Móna will have on a rural area which is weak with comparable alternatives.”