Bishop Francis Duffy has led prayers this past weekend, in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, for those impacted by the planned closure of ESB plants in the Midlands region in Lanesboro, Co Longford and Shannonbridge, Co Offaly.

Bishop Duffy said, “The news of the job losses at ESB plants in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge is a devastating blow to the employees in the midlands region, their families and to the local economy.  Its personal, social and financial impact on our region cannot be underestimated.  There are now very serious concerns about the consequences of this decision as it relates to the viability of Bord na Móna as an iconic Irish company.  Three generations of families have been employed in these plants.  Today, ESB workers with young families, those managing mortgages and financial commitments, and with their plans and hopes for the future, will be impacted by this decision.  Seasonal work for young people attending college and opportunities for apprenticeships now seem destined to disappear.

“I have asked for special prayers at Masses in the region over the coming weeks to be offered for the employees and their families.  We will continue to offer our prayerful support for those who are affected during these difficult times.  I am available to support initiatives which aim to address the needs of our people in any way that I can.”

“Finally, I call on our public representatives and government agencies to expedite their work towards making the Midlands region a place with greater opportunities for employment.  In particular, State investment must address the immediate needs of those whose jobs will end in 2020.”

ENDS