‘Morally wrong’ that laid off Longford Bord na Móna seasonal workers left waiting over two months for Social Welfare payments

'In some cases (laid off workers) had to borrow money from family members to keep their heads above water'

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It is “morally wrong” that seasonal workers at Bord na Móna in Lanesboro, who were recently laid off, have been left waiting over two months for Social Welfare payments.

Local Fianna Fáil TD, Eugene Murphy raised the issue in the Dáil under Questions on Promised Legislation with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

“In the region of 78 seasonal workers with Bord na Móna who were laid off in the Mount Dillon area near Lanesboro have been left without Social Welfare payments with some only receiving payments this week after over nine weeks! Any worker who is left without a week’s wages will feel the pinch but so many of the Bord na Móna workers have had to go without this Summer and in some cases had to borrow money from family members to be able to keep their heads above water. In such a crisis, I would ask An Taoiseach to ensure that workers who have been laid off do not have to wait eight to ten weeks for Social Welfare payments. It is morally wrong,” said Roscommon/Galway Deputy Murphy.

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An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar acknowledged that this situation should not have occurred, and he noted “these are people who were paying their taxes and PRSI and they should have been entitled to Job Seekers within a  week or two and to have it back dated.”

An Taoiseach said that he would raise the matter with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty.

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Deputy Murphy’s comments come in the wake of the recent news the ESB has announced that based on current conditions on the River Shannon, ESB is now in a position to return the Lough Ree Power plant in Lanesboro to service.

“I welcome the news that over the next week the plant will gradually re-commence generation at prudent levels to ensure compliance with their environmental licence obligations. It is not yet clear how this will impact on Bord na Móna workers - we await further updates in that regard,” concluded Deputy Murphy.

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