Government accused of neglecting Longford in terms of job creation

Major manufacturing plant to cease operations by Christmas with the loss of 170 jobs

Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Brexit, Ireland, jobs, foreign direct investment, UK, EU, trade missions, IDA,

Mary Mitchell-O'Connor | File photo | Image:

Longford “is not a priority” for the government or the IDA according to the president of the county’s Chamber of Commerce.

Derek Scanlon said there appears to be “no regional focus” with the town in danger of being left behind.

“In 2015, there were only two visits to the county, where a county like Westmeath got 28 visits. There is a disparity there between the two counties immediately,” he said.

“If you ask someone from the IDA how they promote Longford Town they will tell you, ‘we don’t promote Longford at all, we promote the region' and therefore Longford gets lost.”

Mr Scanlon was reacting to the news that the Cameron Manufacturing plant in Aghafad is set to cease operations by Christmas, with the loss 170 jobs.

Fianna Fail TD for Longford-Westmeath, Robert Troy said the Cameron workers have been treated with a “massive lack of respect”:

Jobs Minister, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the Cameron workers – who are engaged in making components for the oil industry – are victims of the global downturn in the price of oil.

She expressed her sympathy for the workers and said the government does have a jobs strategy for Longford.

“We have announced Center Parcs is going ahead. There will be 750 construction jobs and there will be 1,000 permanent jobs when Center Parcs is up and going,” she said.

The minister said she has already been in contact with the IDA regarding the Cameron Plant.

“We will be making sure that Longford is on the map for the IDA as is all the rest of regional and rural Ireland,” she said.