Pressure on government and ESB chiefs to retain Lanesboro power station

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Lanesboro Power Station. Photo:Joe McDonagh.

Government leaders and ESB officials are facing heightened calls to examine ways to retain Lanesboro power station before any moves are made to bulldoze it

Government bosses are coming under renewed pressure to look at ways of retaining the ESB's power station in Lanesboro before any moves are made to bulldoze it.

The topic is one which looks set to occupy a significant chunk of today's (Wednesday) county council meeting with both Cllrs Mark Casey and Gerald Farrell submitting almost identical notices of motion on the issue.

The former said it was imperative all potential avenues were explored before any definitive decision on the station's future was taken.

“We are going to exhaust all possibilities for the power station before it is taken down because once it is, it can't be put back up,” he said.

“Everything is on the cards. We need to look at what it could be used for.

“We need to look at everything because there is no point coming up with a good idea in two years time and it is in a million pieces on the ground.”

Cllr Casey said there was an unerring demand locally for local authority chiefs and other state agency bosses to ensure employment levels in the greater Lanesboro area were not compromised by the expected closures of the ESB's Lanesboro plant in December.

In a further plea, Cllr Casey said local politicians were keen to open dialogue with Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey over how €11m in state backed aid would be rolled out across affected communities.

“We would like to have a meeting with Kieran Mulvey because the long and short of it is that Lanesboro and Shannonbridge are ground zero,” he said.

“That is where the money should be going to, not the likes of Tipperary and Westmeath. My fear is that this fund could just become free-for-all and that the worst affected areas won't benefit from it at all.”

Cllr Casey said the need for progress on both issues was made more complex by the stagnation in government formation talks.

“It's time Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael stopped playing politics and just form a government because at the end of the day both parties will use whatever, Brexit, coronavirus to stay in power,” he added.