Taskforce must reverse rural Tipperary’s slide into economic blackspot – McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has been in direct contact with the office of the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Employment Mary Mitchell-O’Connor following the devastating loss of over 70 jobs at Schiele and McDonald Mushrooms in Tipperary Town. Deputy McGrath was speaking as concerns continue to grow about further knock effects to rural employment following the recent British referendum on exiting the European Union and which is being directly blamed for contributing to the closure of the Tipperary mushroom facility:

“The fact that parts of Tipperary and rural Tipperary in particular are suffering from deeply ingrained problems with retaining employment is something I have been bringing to the government’s attention for some time now.

In June I confronted the Taoiseach during Leaders Questions with the fact that unemployment in the South East generally is at crisis levels and is rising. It currently stands at 12.5% compared to other regions that are experiencing a national trend of 8.4%.

There is therefore no excuse for the government not to immediately establish a fully resourced taskforce in order to escalate IDA development and support indigenous growth opportunities in rural Ireland.

Tipperary Town now has just under 1500 people who are unemployed which when you consider the relative size of the area is absolutely devastating.

There are a whole host of areas that need to be addressed such as the broader impact of minimum wage laws and the lack of a clear and urgent response to the Brexit result.

This is rapidly leading to problems becoming deeply entrenched with areas like rural Tipperary being hit hardest as they slide into the status of economic blackspots.

I will be in constant communication with the Minister’s office on this matter given how clear it now is that we are witnessing the decimation of entire rural economies,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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