Workers’ union calls for clarity on future of Lough Ree Power Station beyond December

Unions representing workers at Bord na Mona have asked the Communications Minister for clarity on the future of Lough Ree Power beyond December.

The ESB announced today that it was to bring the station in Lanesboro back online at a prudent level in the coming week.

However, it’s understood that it will burn some of the 1 million tonnes of peat already harvested, with little prospect of a return to production from bogs in the area.

The utility’s Public Service Obligation ends in December and with its current license due to run out at the end of 2020.

The future production of peat in the area is very much in doubt, with the prospect of a negative decision from the authorities on its plans for converting the station to co-fire peat and biomass.

Speaking on Let’s Talk this afternoon, SIPTU’s Willie Noone, who represents the group of unions at Bord na Mona says they impressed on Minister Bruton the need for clarity for workers.

The wider Lanesboro/Ballyleauge community are being urged to give their input on what they would like to drive the local economy into the future.

A ‘Think Tank’ is being organised by the Shannonside Enterprise group to discuss a number of issues around the town, including the creation of jobs, accomodation and business opportunities.

Local businessman, Joe O’Brien, says all ideas generated will be passed on to the IDA and Enterprise Ireland officials who are visiting the town on Monday.