Carrick-on-Suir’s political leaders have resolved to promote their town as the ideal location for a sugar beet processing factory should the current moves to revive the industry succeed.
Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald secured the unanimous support of his colleagues on Carrick-on-Suir Town Council last week to push for Carrick-on-Suir to be considered as the location for any future sugar beet factory.
And the Council has taken the first step in its campaign by writing to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney calling on him to include Carrick-on-Suir in any deliberations now and in the future in relation to the location of a sugar beet bio-refinery plant.
The Mayor told this month’s Town Council meeting he was taking this initiative in light of the very positive report from the Sugar Beet Bio-Refinery Group, which indicates that the sugar beet industry could be properly revitalised. .
He pointed out that the agriculture and food sectors were the fastest growing sectors in the economy and Minister Coveney has signalled his support for the industry’s revival if it’s economically viable.
“If the sugar industry takes root again, we should do all in our power to see that it’s located here,” he declared.
The Mayor, in particular, urged local public representatives from the governing coalition parties to keep Carrick-on-Suir’s name to the fore on this issue.
He pointed out that Carrick-on-Suir was one of the locations considered for a sugar beet factory when the industry was first established in the 1920s.
Fine Gael Cllr Margaret Croke, who seconded the Cllr Fitzgerald’s motion, said she would love to see the sugar beet industry up and running again and to see a factory in the town.
“We have lost out on much industry so I would ask our town manager and the planning department to push forward on this,” she said.
Independent Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin said the “sell-off” of the sugar beet industry was one of the greatest scandals of all time and now it was not possible to sell one bag of Irish sugar in this country.
He suggested that the Council purchase the Farmer’s Journal weekly to keep up to date on the progress of the sugar beet industry campaign.