Longford/Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty
Taoiseach Micheal Martin has vowed to "pursue" the possibility of extending the national gas pipeline to Longford town in order to support the further expansion of a number of locally based firms.
The Fianna Fáil leader issued the pledge when responding to a question tabled by Longford-Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Joe Flaherty yesterday.
Mr Flaherty said Longford County Council has attempted to further those plans under the State's Climate Action Plan, but as of yet has still to learn the outcome of those efforts.
The gas pipeline was previously linked up to leisure resort giant Center Parcs following repeated calls at local and national political level in a move Mr Flaherty outlined was equally important in terms of Longford town's industrial and economic progression.
"Local employers, including Panelto and Birds Eye, are keen to see it progressed as they are reviewing their energy usage and have plans for further development at their site," he said.
"It is timely and appropriate that the gas pipeline be extended to Longford town."
In response, Mr Martin said he was aware of the possibilities such a move would bring to a town like Longford and assured Mr Flaherty talks would be opened with a number of key stakeholders over the plans.
"I understand the importance in respect of Longford and the major frozen food facilities there," he said.
"I will talk to Gas Networks Ireland and engage with it. Obviously, in the first instance, the routing of natural gas pipelines or the connections to towns is its responsibility and that of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, but the Deputy (Flaherty) has made a very fair point. We will pursue that."
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