Taoiseach Enda Kenny was in Longford on Monday where he made official visits to Abbott, the EDI Centre and Cameron in the county town.
During his visit to the EDI Centre, he paid tribute to the work done there and acknowledged the importance of the new Restoration Skills course. An Taoiseach also presented the 15 graduates of the course with their certificates and made a firm commitment to return to the centre in six months to evaluate a funding request made by Pat Kelleher.
“I am impressed with what I have seen here,” Mr Kenny added. “I have just come from Abbott - a centre of global excellence right here in Longford - and do I hear enough about this? No, I do not. You must start at the top and highlight that - it is always about striving for perfection and not wallowing in misery.”
An Taoiseach went on to point to the 250,000 jobs that were lost in the last number of years in Ireland and how the Government subsequently needed to borrow €64bn in an effort to keep the country afloat. He also spoke about the country’s exit from the bailout next Monday and the need for caution in the aftermath. “We have had three very difficult budgets and my priority is for the generation coming behind us,” continued Mr Kenny. “We are exiting the bailout programme next Monday, and we start as part of the Eurozone with the same opportunities as every other country. 60,000 jobs have been created in the last three years and employment is the answer to all our problems. This Traditional Skills course here at the EDI Centre is important for everyone; I was astounded at the skills that were available here and I commend EDI for what has been done in respect of that course.”
He then went on to speak about the Men’s Shed Initiative, which he initially launched, and how it has developed across the country, including in Co Longford. “You have something very special here in Longford and I see this course as the start of something very different. The quality of the men and women doing these courses, and it is important to us as people to have skills such as this. I know the problem is money and we all need it, and I will return in six months time and see how you are getting on. I think this is a great day for Longford.”