Huge blow to Longford as Bord na Móna lay off 150 employees

Bad news comes in wake of ESB decision to suspend operations at Lough Ree Power Plant in Lanesboro

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

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alan.walsh@longfordleader.ie

Huge blow to Longford as Bord na Móna lay off 150 employees

Huge blow to Longford as Bord na Móna lay off 150 employees

Almost 150 Bord na Móna employees in Longford are facing a very uncertain future this morning after it was confirmed that 70 permanent employees will be put on temporary unpaid lay-off from Thursday next, July 18 and 78 seasonal employees will be laid off immediately.

The decision comes in the wake of ESB suspending the operation of its peat-fired power plant at Lough Ree Power (LRP) in Lanesboro.

Also read: Hot water discharge concerns prompt ESB to suspend operations at Lough Ree Power Plant in Lanesboro

A spokesperson for Bord na Móna explained, "Approximately seventy permanent employees will be put on temporary unpaid lay-off from Thursday, July 18 2019 and this will continue until LRP returns to normal operations.

"Seventy eight seasonal employees will also be placed on lay-off immediately. The company will provide regular updates to all employees."

Bord na Móna says it 'acknowledges the difficulties and impact that this will have on employees and their families' and a meeting has been arranged with the Group of Unions for Friday, July 12 to work through this process and review all options.

The spokesperson added, "It is unfortunate that the company has had to take this course of action and looks forward to a resolution of the issues at the earliest opportunity."

The ESB confirmed on Friday last, July 5 that their peat fired power station at Lanesboro,15 Lough Ree Power (LRP) will remain off load for an undefined period of time.

The reason for the power station to remain offload is that it is experiencing difficulties in complying with its environmental licence obligations (relating to thermal plume).

The return to service of the power station is dependent on a decision on the environmental licence review from the EPA.

The Bord na Móna spokesperson remarked, "This unforeseen event has a direct and adverse impact for Bord na Móna Energy operations at Mountdillon including peat supply, bog operations and maintenance. 

"Since Sunday July 7 there is no requirement to supply any peat to LRP and the Energy business unit has no option but to take the decision to cease all operations at Mountdillon works and place all impacted employees on protective notice effective immediately."