Naughten demands town meeting to explore jobs strategy

Local TD Denis Naughten is calling on the Government to hold meeting of all agencies and local authorities in Galway and Roscommon to get jobs back in Ballinasloe.

The move comes in the wake of 115 job losses with the closure of US dispenser maker company Aptar, and Deputy Naughten says not enough is being done to find alternative employment in the town.

"Since last June when Aptar took the decision to review its operation in the town I have consistently highlighted the need for a pro-active approach to be taken by Government,” he says. “I am disappointed that not only has the Government been unable to save the Aptar operation and protect local jobs, but I fail to see what measures have been taken over the last two months to help secure alternative sources of employment for the 115 workers."

Deputy Naughten accepts the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment had acted on my requests for action over the last number of months, but the town "needs to see real progress".

He is asking the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to chair a meeting of all state agencies, as well as the two local authorities in Galway and Roscommon, to implement a co-ordinated strategy for Ballinasloe.

“I have already pointed out to Minister Varadkar how it is hugely frustrating that Ballinasloe always seems to be just one positive decision away from unlocking its full potential. As a result, I believe what is now needed is a focused strategy for the town of Ballinasloe involving all the state bodies working with the outgoing management of Aptar, the landlords, as well as exploring the full potential of the St Brigid’s Hospital campus."

He says the town also has huge potential to become the recreational tourism crossroads of Ireland with the north-south Beara Breffni way walking route, which secured additional Government funding during the summer, and €8m secured this week for the proposed Athlone-Galway greenway, intersecting in Ballinasloe.


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