Anticipated Bord na Móna plan to mean 300 job losses

Move part of company restructure as firm eyes greener energy sources over next decade

The Bord na Móna plan could mean up to 850 redundancies in the peat harvesting business over the next decade. Photograph: Pat Sammon

The Bord na Móna plan could mean up to 850 redundancies in the peat harvesting business over the next decade. Photograph: Pat Sammon

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Bord na Móna is expected to approve a plan on Wednesday will lead to the loss of up to 300 jobs in Co Kildare and Co Offaly.

The move is part of the company’s restructuring agenda as it moves to decarbonisation of the fuel sector in the next 10 years to more environmentally friendly forms of energy.

The plan could mean up to 850 redundancies in the peat harvesting business over the next decade.

Concern has been expressed at comments by Bord na Móna that it could be looking at job losses of up to 300 in the midlands over the coming months.

Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly North Tipperary Barry Cowen said he is expecting the company to announce up to 300 job losses to be announced on Wednesday as peat production ceases in 17 bogs.

Mr Cowen called for a sustainable transition forum for the midlands as the company withdraws from peat harvesting.

‘Devastating blow’

A Bord na Móna spokesman said there would be “no statement until the board take a decision one way or the other tomorrow”. A board meeting is set to take place on Wednesday.

“The Government cannot just leave this region, and in particular these communities, on its own after such an announcement,” said Mr Cowen.

“I have personally written to An Taoiseach requesting his support in the establishment of such a forum. The Government cannot wash their hands of this devastating blow; they must support the workers and the local economy,” said Mr Cowen.

Trade union Unite, which is part of the Bord na Mona Group of Unions, called on the Government to intervene as the company moves away from peat-based activities.

Unite regional officer Ed Thompson said decarbonisation will result in further job losses. And he added that workers and their communities would pay the price for decarbonisation.

“Those rural communities where Bord na Móna was previously an economic driver are bearing the brunt of decarbonisation policies introduced to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Mr Thompson.

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