After the shock closure of Largo Foods in Gweedore on Friday last, public representatives have said the losses are about people’s lives and their futures - not just about balance sheets.
After the shock closure of Largo Foods in Gweedore on Friday last public representatives have said the losses are about people’s lives and their futures - not just about balance sheets.
The Minister of State at the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley said: “I am very disappointed at the announcement by Largo Foods.
“While I welcome the company’s plan to offer 70 of its employees the opportunity to transfer to Ashbourne, I would prefer if these jobs remained in the Gaeltacht. I understand the importance of employment in Gaeltacht areas and will take all necessary actions to support the Údarás in its role as the economic agency for the Gaeltacht.”
Speaking to this newspaper Pearse Doherty TD said, “This issue is not now about grants or investment in the past - it is about people’s futures
“It is a pity that they never drew down the €575K which was allocated to them two years ago - it would have showed their commitment.
“I have met with the management on Friday and it is quite obvious to me that the balance sheet is the deciding factor - it is a commercial decision.
“I understand that an emergency task force has been set up - this is much too late.
“The Donegal Democrat highlighted the number of vacant factories here in a recent article - the fact of the matter is that we had 1500 workers on this Industrial Estate - we now have 400. Employment in the Gaeltacht has been decimated.
“The constraints on Udaras na Gaeltachta will have to be lifted allowing them to offer much more attractive conditions. They will have to start thinking outside the box - rent free start - ups, rates freeze - whatever it takes.”
MEP Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher said “This is not about politics - there is already unbelievable pressure on people and this could well be the final nail in the coffin.
“The fact of the matter is that the majority shareholding of Largo Foods is German owned - many people are not aware of this.
“Their commitment is to Ireland not necessarily to Donegal or this Gaeltacht.
“They cite distance and transportation as one of their main reasons for leaving - this has sent out a bad message to other prospective employers.
“I am calling on Minister Dinny McGinley to convene a meeting immediately between the management and Udaras - no stone should be left unturned. It is much easier to keep existing jobs than to create new ones - the future of the whole community in the Rosses is at stake.”
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