Following last month’s announcement that jobs are to be lost at Bord na Mona over the coming months as part of its decarbonisation plan, independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has been left disappointed by some people’s reactions.

Speaking on the matter, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “Over the last number of days it has been incredible to see people welcoming the news that jobs are to be lost at Bord na Mona over the coming months and that the closure of the peat section of the company is to be brought forward by five years to 2025. Some of these people have even been heavily involved in politics in this country.

“It is sad to see people dancing on the grave of a company that employed an awful lot of people in rural parts of Ireland and that kept food on the table for a considerable number of families.

“Everybody knows that things move on.

“But, unfortunately, the people who were in power down through the years – some of them even went as far as becoming president of this country – didn’t put a plan in place to make sure that there would be a future for those workers.

“It is ironic to see those people cheering the closure of a viable industry in rural Ireland and, at the same time, travelling the world putting up tonnes and tonnes of carbon in fancy aeroplanes without feeling guilty.”

The Roscommon-Galway representative argued that Bord na Mona has been “bounced into this situation through no fault of its own” and added that rural Ireland is again the biggest loser following the recent developments.

Continuing, he said: “There are families now that do not have a viable future.

“We hear all types of politicians telling us how money needs to be thrown at this, that and the other.

“Yes, everybody agrees that we need to put money into rural Ireland as a whole – but money alone won’t solve this.”

Concluding, Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “We need to make sure that we take stock of where we are.

“I do think that the debate has to open up about where we are going in terms of the aviation industry, given the amount of pollutants that it is releasing into the atmosphere.”

The independent TD encouraged people who claim to be “good environmentalists” to stay true to their word and remain in their own country, rather than racking up thousands of air miles around the world “in search of a tan”.

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