Dáil Éireann - Volume 387 - 07 March, 1989

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Carrick-on-Suir Unemployment.

8. Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if his attention [2365] has been drawn to the fact that unemployment is currently at 33 per cent in Carrick-on-Suir, County Waterford; and the plans he has to create employment there.

Mr. R. Burke: My attention has been drawn to the unemployment situation in Carrick-on-Suir. However, the Industrial Development Authority have statutory responsibility for the implementation of national industrial development policy. The information sought by the Deputy relates to the day to day responsibility of the Industrial Development Authority and is not, therefore, a matter in which I have a direct function.

However, I am informed by the IDA that they are actively promoting Carrick-on-Suir for suitable manufacturing industry and that every effort is being made to maximise job opportunities in existing industries there.

Mr. Spring: In relation to the latter part of the Minister's response, will he give some examples of what the IDA are doing to maximise job opportunities in Carrick-on-Suir and to market it? To the best of my knowledge, sites in the area have not been visited by anyone in the last three years and there have not been any discussions at local level about job creation.

Mr. R. Burke: The Deputy is misinformed in relation to this because the IDA have been actively promoting the Carrick-on-Suir area. As recently as 27 January they approved the establishment of a tannery there in co-operation with the local co-operative and they expect 25 jobs to be created. Negotiations in that regard have been going on for some time and included the funding of a feasibility study of a consultancy and other reports leading to the detailed proposal which was then approved by the IDA at the end of January. Considerable work is going on and the IDA are very anxious to encourage the development of a major tannery project in the Carrick-on-Suir area because of the tradition there of that industry. The IDA are also actively [2366] promoting the area for other projects. There have been a number of startups and I acknowledge that there is major unemployment in the area. It is a matter of concern to me and that is why I am pushing the IDA on this matter.

Mr. Spring: Given the high level of unemployment — 33 per cent — which must be as high as in any rural area, will the Minister give a positive indication as to the prospect of some jobs being created? I recognise the desirability of a tannery project given the history of the area, but I should like to know if there is a hope of any other industry given the fact that the 25 jobs in the tannery — while a help — will not greatly alleviate the problem? Is the Minister seeking to attract any other sector of industry to the area?

Mr. R. Burke: The IDA include Carrick-on-Suir in all site visits in the region. The Deputy can be assured that we will not reject any industry as we are looking at the whole range.

An Ceann Comhairle: We must now deal with other questions.