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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 15 Jul 1975

Vol. 283 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Glass Industry Redundancies.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the number of redundancies which have occurred this year in the glass industry, particularly the bottle manufacturing section; and the steps that are being taken to help the industry.

The only redundancies which have occurred in the glass industry this year, of which my Department and the Industrial Development Authority are aware, are 140 which occurred in one firm in the bottle manufacturing section.

Over the past four years grants in excess of £3 million have been approved by the Industrial Development Authority for firms in the glass industry. The authority, my Department and the appropriate State agencies are maintaining close contact with these firms and continue to provide them with every assistance possible.

May I ask the Minister to state more specifically what is being done to prevent further redundancies in the Dublin factory?

The IDA have been in contact with the factory to which I am sure the Deputy is referring and they do not foresee any further reduction in the work force at the moment. Part of the problem there has been (a) the distillers' strike here removed some of the demand for bottles over all last winter and (b) the general fall-off in economic activity reduced exports to the English market; that these factors depressed the industry and necessitated redundancies to date but the company involved are expecting that this is of a temporary nature and that the demand will pick up again.

Are we importing bottles?

I am not sure but under the free trade area agreement they are possibly entitled to import them.

The Minister refers continuously to the activities of the IDA. Can he say if the Minister for Industry and Commerce is doing anything about this problem?

The IDA are an agent for the Minister for Industry and Commerce. He is in daily contact with them and he encourages them in every way possible to bring new industries here.

Has he no personal contact with these industries?

There is not much point in the Minister setting up the IDA and then doing the work himself. The Deputy will be aware of the many trips he has made to places as far away as Japan.

He came back with £150,000 worth of orders.


His trips were extremely successful and I have no doubt that the industries which came here as a result of his efforts will provide not temporary but long-term and good employment for workers. He is probably the hardest working Minister the country has ever had in the amount of effort he has put into attracting industries and boosting exports.

Was one of the successes by the Minister for Industry and Commerce to which the Minister referred the winning of £150,000 worth of export orders from Russia?

We are getting away from the subject matter of the last question.

If these orders were won in an area to which we had not previously exported it was a major success.

The remaining questions will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.