Deputy Carol Nolan
INDEPENDENT TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has reiterated her call for a definitive date to be provided on when Ireland will receive the promised pledge of €84 million from the EU Just Transition Fund.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after attending a recent conference entitled 'Just Transition', which took place in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore. The event was organised by The Diversity Europe Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in partnership with Irish Rural Link, and was attended by, among others, Kieran Mulvey, the Just Transition Commissioner.
Deputy Nolan said that she was there to raise a number of the points she had highlighted in her submission to the Department of the Environment’s Consultation on the EU Just Transition Fund and the development of a draft Territorial Just Transition Plan.
“While I welcome the fact that creating jobs was on today’s agenda, the plain fact remains that we have been talking about the need to do this for well over five years now with next to nothing to show for it in terms of large scale, concrete employment opportunities,” Deputy Nolan said.
“We are also no closer to knowing when the EU will be in a position to provide Ireland and more specifically, Offaly, Laois and the midland region with the €84 million from the Just Transition Fund.
“I have received no firm assurances, following today’s conference, that Offaly will be prioritised in terms of a funding distribution mechanism being put in place to ensure the money will be targeted to those areas that have experienced the greatest level of negative economic impact rather than on territorial coverage per se.
“The need for such assurances to be provided is a point that I have made repeatedly, including in my submission to the department’s own consultation process.
“Talk is all well and good, but it won’t pay the mortgages or the bills for the people that I represent; people who are completely disillusioned by the Just Transition agenda and its inability to translate green rhetoric into economic growth and full-time jobs,” concluded Deputy Nolan.
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