A crowd of hundreds gathered in Lanesboro on Monday night to protest job losses at Bord na Mona
More than 500 protesters brought Lanesboro to a standstill on Monday evening to wage their discontent against Bord na Móna plans to lay off 150 staff in the south Longford town.
The semi-state signalled its intention two weeks ago to let go 148 workers following an ESB led decision to cease operations at its Lough Ree peat-fired plant over concerns linked to hot water discharges being released into the River Shannon.
The energy firm initially let go 78 seasonal workers indefinitely in a move which was swiftly followed by plans to lay off 72 permanent staff.
Those fears appeared to dissipate when talks between union officials and management brought about a suspension of any further cuts.
However, negotiations aimed at redeploying and seeking alternative working arrangements for affected staff came to a standstill last week, sparking Monday night's protest.
“This is about people in this community being told there are 150 jobs gone in a week's time, that's what this is about,” said Willie Noone, Sector Organiser with SIPTU.
“We can deal with crises, we can deal with job losses but we cannot and will not deal with people being treated shabbily.”
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