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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 20 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 5

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Mayo Industrial Development.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that there is an urgent need to have industries established at Ballina, Killala, Foxford, Crossmolina, Kilkelly, Swinford, Charlestown, Kiltimagh, Ballyhaunis, Claremorris, Irishtown, Balla and other centres in County Mayo; and if he will take the necessary steps to have industries located in these towns.

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to a similar question put by him on 21st November, 1968.

May I ask the Minister if he is aware that the towns referred to in my question are facing economic collapse due to the fact that the small-holders who live adjacent to them are finding existence difficult and are forced to emigrate and that if industries are not provided in these towns they face collapse? Does the Minister not think it is time for the Government to wake up?

There is an East Mayo emphasis here.

I cannot help that. The Minister can thank his supporters for it.

On the previous occasion when the Minister replied to Deputy O'Hara he pointed out that he was aware of the need for establishing new industries in the towns mentioned and that the Government had already provided valuable facilities to encourage the establishment and development of industries in these parts. He said that the operation of the small industries programme in County Mayo should make a worthwhile contribution to the employment position there. He also stated that he understood a substantial number of applications for assistance under the scheme had already been received from small industries in County Mayo.

I thank the Minister for his courtesy, but does he not appreciate that these towns are bleeding to death and that if something is not done directly by the Government they face collapse? The measures taken by the Government have in the main failed.

The Deputy is aware that the Government have taken very considerable steps, not only in the way of grants under the Undeveloped Areas Act, but also in the operation of the small industries programme.

The trouble is that the people are leaving.