Dáil Éireann - Volume 340 - 03 March, 1983

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Sligo Industrial Project.

[1773] 12. Mr. M. Brennan asked the Minister for Industry and Energy the present position regarding an industrial project (details supplied) which the former Minister for Industry and Energy announced would be established in County Sligo and which he said would employ 90 people in an area where a number of redundancies have occurred over the last number of years.

Mr. J. Bruton: I understand from the Industrial Development Authority that, mainly because of reduced demand for the products to be made by this undertaking, the German promoters recently decided not to proceed for the time being with the project.

The IDA are maintaining contact with the promoters with a view to ensuring that the project gets under way at the earliest possible date.

Mr. M. Brennan: I am pleased that Deputy Reynolds is present because it was he who announced this project in Bonn last May. Does the Minister realise the serious unemployment situation in that part of County Sligo? In the late sixties the mill in Ballisodare closed and 40 men were made redundant and in 1977 I was one of the many men made redundant in the GWI factory in Collooney. that factory now has a work force of 120 while in 1977 470 people worked there.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair is very reluctant to cut in on new Deputies but the Chair is in the position that, if new Deputies follow the very bad example established by older Members, then the situation will get worse instead of better.

Mr. Reynolds: We all took a leaf from the Chair.

An Ceann Comhairle: Members are obliged to confine themselves to putting questions at Question Time. Short direct questions are recommended.

Mr. M. Brennan: I was anxious to [1774] bring to the attention of the Minister the fact that so many jobs have been lost to that part of County Sligo and no new jobs provided. We were delighted when Deputy Reynolds announced that this project was going to Collooney and I hope every effort will be made to get it under way as soon as possible.

Mr. J. Bruton: At the time Deputy Reynolds, as Minister, made that announcement the project was active, but difficulties have arisen since then. It is true to say that the unemployment problem in the Sligo area is of concern. There has not been any increase in manufacturing employment levels in Sligo from January 1981 to November 1982. In fact, there has been a slight decline. That is a matter of some concern. The IDA are doing their best to get this project back on the road again. The problems exist outside the country, in the market for the product to be produced, and associated with that is the obtaining of loan finance for the project. However, if a market was there there would not be any problem about getting loan finance.

Mr. Reynolds: Will the Minister confirm that this project was more than active, that it was approved by the IDA and the announcement was made with the permission of the promoters? An election was not taking place in May.

Mr. J. Bruton: It was approved by the IDA in June 1981 and it was announced by the then Minister, Deputy Reynolds, in May 1982.

Mr. Reynolds: With the permission of the promoters.

Mr. J. Bruton: Yes.