Dáil Éireann - Volume 303 - 08 February, 1978

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Balingarry (Tipperary) Mines.

21. Dr. Browne asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy if the discussions between the receiver and local interests in relation to the resumption of mining operations at Ballingarry, County Tipperary, have yet been completed; if so, the result; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. R. Burke: The receiver has indicated that discussions between him and the local interests in question are still in progress.

Dr. Browne: Is it not a fact that the record of operations of this mine is particularly bad? In the interests of the unfortunate workers and having regard to the raw materials there, would the Minister consider taking it into public ownership now and deal with the job properly?

Mr. R. Burke: The matter of public ownership is a separate question. I am told that the receiver has been pressing for a speedy decision on the proposals that have come in this case. I understand that some information which he requested will be available soon.

Dr. Browne: Has the Minister any idea when the negotiations will conclude and the mine reopen? Will it be a matter of weeks or months?

Mr. R. Burke: Unfortunately I cannot give a definite date. I share the Deputy's concern for the employment prospects of that area. I should like to see the mine open again and get the men back to work.