I write to you regarding several issues that have arisen over the last while in the Fethard Council area. The culmination of these issues was the most recent sad loss of over 100 jobs in the Dawn Foods facility in Fethard.
I had expected a loud and vocal response from a variety of voices in the area, what we got were a range of whispers barely audible in the media locally that did not adequately highlight the problems of our area.
We, in Carrick, just as Fethard has, have also suffered many employment blows and disappointments over the years. It is now time that we seek to highlight these issues and to take direct control of our own future.
There is a time when all those with a voice and interest must come together and agree a route forward, to agree to work together and to use our combined strengths to address the frightening level of unemployment across all ages, genders and skills.
That time is now, we must as a wider community use all of the available resources to make a difference in our locality. Unless we start to help ourselves we cannot ask others for help.
Our focus must be to see how we can use our exiting resources, strengths and skills in a pragmatic and cost effective manner. These urgent issues reflect a need to have a real cross community, cross political agreement, Local and National Government support. It is only by having a common and shared plan that we can last then start to build a future for all of the area.
I call on both our Councillors, Oireachtas members, the business and voluntary communities and County Council officials to create a targeted Task Force that will assess all of the options that are currently available within the wider area, how we can harness these options in a complimentary fashion and to quantify what we need to provide options and help to create sustainable employment opportunities in the locality.
I will facilitate this Task Force in any way that I can and hope that for the first time that we start to work together as one, for the benefit of our wider community. This is, of course, easier said than done and there will be many challenges along the way but on any journey a first step is required and I can only hope that this is that first step in building a common goal and vision that addresses our needs and requirements.
Cllr Kieran Bourke
Mayor of Carrick on Suir