I am aware that six people who were employed at the Northgate facility have now lost their jobs.
In the Budget just over a month ago, there was no jobs strategy for rural Ireland whatsoever. In 2013 up to 150 jobs for Castlebar were promised, yet not delivered upon. Indeed in recent years there have been launches of jobs strategies, figures mentioned and much talking up of the economic situation but with very few real jobs for people. Announcements and promises of jobs mean nothing to communities if they cannot be delivered upon.
The jobs that were promised in Northgate never materialised. The deeply frustrating aspect is that these jobs were announced with politicians, photo shoots and promises that things were improving. Yet when the jobs failed to come on line there was silence from the Government. The people of Castlebar rightly felt abandoned and used.
What is needed for Mayo, and the west in general, is a strategy to attract employers that can produce jobs which are ready to be filled at the time of any announcements. Sinn Féin has put forward workable proposals to support SMEs and indigenous industry as drivers of employment. I am also aware that up to six people who were employed at the facility have now lost their jobs.