The news has just broken that MBNA Bank of America in Carrick-on-Shannon is to close it operations by the end of November. The decision will result in the loss of 160 jobs and is a devastating blow to local communities and of course the families of those affected. This is a dramatic wave of job losses for Roscommon, Leitrim and rural Ireland as a whole. It is obvious now more than ever that we need an action plan for job retention and creation in the region.
It was also reported in recent weeks that IDA backed companies in Midlands (including Roscommon) recorded negative movement with regard to jobs compared to strong growth on the east coast of Ireland. Leitrim and Roscommon have both already seen increases in the numbers signing onto the live register recently. This is yet another disappointing statistic and a clear indictment that the “great recovery” has completely by-passed rural Ireland in favour of the cities.
Communities, businesses and elected representatives must now all come together and plan for the future that we want to create for the region. It is only by identifying clear goals and putting in place incentives for entrepreneurs, that we will attract industry and jobs to the region. We have a lot to offer here in Roscommon and Leitrim. We have creative and educated young people who would love to avail of graduate programs in the private sector. We have innovative entrepreneurs who would build new businesses if they could access grants to get them started. We have a wealth of heritage, culture and natural amenities that we could market to capitalize on the upswing in tourism. There is so much we could do if our leaders pulled together and worked with everybody to secure our economic future.
It is the responsibility of all of us in Roscommon and Leitrim now to fight for our slice of the greater “job creation pie”. If we can establish a regional action plan for job retention and sustainable job creation that includes supporting indigenous businesses, start-ups and attracting new businesses to the region, we will have taken the first step toward economic empowerment, and taking control of our own economic destinies.
Today we have been dealt a blow, but we must take immediate action to negate the effects of these jobs losses. The people and families affected must receive support and I am calling on the relevant government departments and agencies to enter into talks with local community groups, businesses and elected representatives in order to ensure that a solution to this devastating announcement can be found swiftly.
In my current capacity I am limited in how I can advise the individuals affected today but I can say this; when I was 19 I was made redundant as a result of a receivership. I endured a tough patch but eventually started my own business. If anybody affected by today's announcement would like to speak with me in confidence about my experiences and how to move forward, please feel free to contact me through EmmettCorcoran.com.
My thoughts are with those affected and their families.
Emmett Corcoran | Independent Candidate | Roscommon-South Leitrim By-Election | 2014
"If you're willing to keep moving forward, eventually you will succeed."
All opinions and views expressed are my own, they do not necessarily reflect the positions of my businesses.
One reader asked why I monitor my comments and why they must be approved, and just for the rest of you it's not for censorship, it's because of Spam-bots. I'll publish all comments posted by real people :)