Private Members Business. - Tuam Sugar Factory Closure: Motion

The following motion was moved by Deputy MacSharry on 20 October 1981:
That having regard to the deeply serious social and economic repercussions for the West of Ireland which would follow the closure of the Tuam sugar factory, Dáil Éireann requests the Government to take whatever steps are necessary to maintain sugar beet processing operations and ancillary activities in Tuam and in particular to promote actively beet growing in neighbouring farming areas in order to ensure adequate future supplies for the sugar factory.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all the words after "That" and substitute the following:—
Dáil Éireann endorses the Government's decision that Exchequer resources be provided for Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann Teo. to enable it to continue sugar production at Tuam for the 1982/83 beet campaign and that absolute priority would be given to securing new industry in the Tuam area with a view to providing alternative employment opportunities.
—(Minister for Agriculture)

Before I reported progress last night I was speaking about the growth in the sugar industry. It is encouraging to note that there was an increase in the acreage of beet grown this year in the Tuam area. There was a 39 per cent increase over the previous year. Some of our young farmers have played a very important part in this increased acreage of beet. It is a very encouraging sign that the Sugar Company and Macra na Feirme are involved in beet growing competitions which takes place in the small farms in the west. I hope young farmers are encouraged through this scheme to grow more beet.

I also hope that the company's land bank is available for young farmers. I am sure the Land Commission could be prevailed on to make land available to the Sugar Company for beet growing. There is not sufficient publicity given to the land bank. The Minister for Agriculture last night did not seem to realise the significance of the land bank, which consists of over 1,000 acres and could be leased for beet growing. It is very important that it is given to small farmers who have not any suitable land or perhaps have not any land at all in which to grow sugar beet.

It may well be that it is from the small farms in the future that the Sugar Company will obtain a supply of sugar beet and it might be from those farms that the increased acreage will be obtained. I have read a number of articles in recent weeks. One article in particular gave the views of a large farmer in County Carlow in relation to his own farming enterprise. He had mixed feelings about the sugar beet crop. Last year he had 140 acres under beet and this year he was down to 40 acres. He stated he was moving into winter cereals and was definitely phasing out the sugar beet. He said he was not happy with the strain of seed or with the system of payment by the Sugar Company as he thought it was unfair. Those matters should be very closely examined.

It is important to have research undertaken into a suitable strain of beet seed. The Italians have developed a particular strain of seed and I understand they have got a significant increase in the yield per acre. The development of the Italian sugar industry over the last few years has been extraordinary. There are many areas of similarity between Italy and Ireland. I know that the Sugar Company are involved in research and development. This has improved the return to growers, but much more needs to be done in this regard.

I cannot talk about increased acreage or about research and development without referring to the western development programme introduced by the former Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Ray MacSharry. This scheme will make available extra acres of land for beet growing. The sugar beet crop can make a major contribution to cleaning the land and improving and building up fertility. I do not believe the crop will be grown if the Tuam factory closes. Despite what the Minister for Agriculture says about his efforts to transport beet, it will not be grown. The BGA and the workers action committee in Tuam as well as everybody who has an interest in Tuam and the west of Ireland want a long-term commitment to the sugar industry. All those people believe that the acreage of beet can be increased. The Galway committee of ACOT have stated that another 5,000 acres of sugar beet could be grown without having an adverse affect on the livestock population. The Minister for Agriculture did not state last night what he was prepared to do in the event of this increased acreage.

I read in the paper about an interview with Deputy Sherlock who said that in the event of an increased acreage he was prepared to view the situation concerning the Tuam factory in a different light. I am very glad the Deputy said that but I would be happier if the Minister for Agriculture had said it. Last night the Minister spoke about providing alternative industry in Tuam. We have over 2,000 people unemployed in the Tuam area and 600 people unemployed in the town of Tuam. He also spoke about employing consultants, which I consider to be a fruitless exercise. He said that Tuam would be included in the review but he also said after we met the Taoiseach in a deputation that he would be taken aback if the consultants had a different view to the one he had.

There are people in the Government who talk about the importance of planning. I was very interested to hear Deputy Michael D. Higgins talk about the importance of long-term planning. How can they talk about long-term planning when they are only giving a 12 months' reprieve to the Tuam factory? I believe there are many Deputies in the Government benches who are very unhappy about the way the Minister for Agriculture has handled this situation. They are very unhappy at the way he has tried to keep the announcement of the closure a secret and are also unhappy he did not take some positive action. Deputy White went on record as stating that the Minister did not come to grips with the situation. He stated on 15 September last that the Tuam factory cannot be allowed to close. He also said: "There are some yes-men but we are not all yes-men in the party."

I ask Deputies who have similar feelings to those of Deputy White to consider the drastic situation for the people in the Tuam area if this factory closes. I ask those Deputies to accept this motion. Even though it is put down by the Fianna Fáil Party it is not political in that sense. If they cannot vote for this motion I ask them to abstain and save the sugar factory in Tuam. We need this factory. It was put there for socio-economic reasons. It will be a big blow to the west and the people in the Tuam area if this factory closes. It will be a psychological blow to the area and to the whole west. I ask that the motion be accepted and that the factory in Tuam be saved.

This is my maiden speech in this House and if one were looking for a more contentious issue one could hardly find one. I preface my remarks by saying that it is a very difficult decision for any Government to close a factory as important to a town as the sugar factory is to Tuam. However, there are various aspects of the matter I shall deal with later.

First, I entirely sympathise with the work force of the Tuam sugar factory. I am talking about friends and neighbours, about people with whom I have worked for many years and I take due note of the position they are in. When I first heard of the decision by the board of the company to close the factory I considered it a very cruel and severe blow. So far as industrial relations were concerned its timing was very bad. When I heard the factory was to close in a few months time and that alternative employment was being sought by the IDA to replace the permanent and temporary jobs that would be lost I said that I could not accept that part of the argument. One does not have to be an economist to know that in these difficult times it will be very difficult to replace the jobs in question and I told this to the authorities concerned.

I asked the Taoiseach and the Government to note what I said. I must tell the House that I was thankful to the Taoiseach for his humane approach when the facts were put before him and when he was told that if the factory was closed now there was no way to get alternative employment for the workers. It is more difficult to close a sugar factory, particularly when it is only one of four in the country, than to close other types of industry where work can be started and finished more quickly. I will deal with that aspect later.

I am a new Deputy for East Galway. As far as I am concerned people cannot be put out of work unless there is alternative employment. I must confess that at this stage I am not too sure the IDA can replace all the jobs that will be lost when the factory closes in 12 or 18 months time. Incidentally, many people believe there will not be jobs for them in Tuam when the present campaign is completed. We are talking about another campaign after that which brings us to the spring of 1983 and I hope by that stage the IDA will be able to get into the area the type of industry where the talents of the workers in Tuam can be used to the full. If we cannot get more beet into Tuam, at least we will be making the best of what could be a very bad situation. I expect the IDA to do what is required in this instance and if they do not I will take up the matter with the Minister and the Taoiseach. As a representative from East Galway I want to ensure that there are as many jobs provided as possible.

Needless to say I should like to see the beet factory in Tuam continue in operation but there are economic factors that will make this very difficult. However, I was told in the House last night and read in newspaper reports that the workers in the factory and the BVGA have a plan to put before the farming community to increase the beet acreage. I wish to lend my support to that. I should like farmers in Connacht to be in a position to produce beet from 10,000 acres of land. If the Tuam factory is to survive in the future the beet must be grown. One of the reasons for the present situation is that during the years until last year the beet acreage fell drastically. It does not make good sense economically to bring beet from Carlow, Cork and Dublin. Unless the farmers respond to the call to grow much more beet we will be in a very unsatisfactory situation. I hope that the proposal of the BVGA and the workers will succeed.

As a former beet grower I should like to put some facts on the record. What is being proposed in Tuam will be an uphill battle for a number of reasons. The yield per acre of washed beet in the west is only 11½ tons per acre while the figure for the rest of the country is 14 tons per acre. If the price of beet is between £25 to £30 per acre and the west starts with a deficit of three tons per acre, it is obvious that western farmers are almost £100 per acre behind the rest of the country. This has taken its toll during the years.

There are other reasons why beet growing has not been popular in the past nine or ten years. In the west the soil is of a poor type, there are many fragmented holdings, there is little mechanisation of the kind common in good tillage areas of the country and, finally, the technology that has come into beet growing, particularly in the past three or four years, has not been readily available to western farmers. Their resources have not allowed them to invest in the machinery and expertise that is necessary. Many farmers who hear this appeal to grow more beet will believe that others connected with the industry have had more rewarding results than they have obtained. That is a fact of life. It is well known that, like other sections of industry, the farming community will respond and produce a product if there is enough money in it for them. Nobody can blame them for that. If in the next 12 months we get a suitable increase in acreage, I will ask the Taoiseach to have another look at the decision to close Tuam factory.

Rumours are emanating from the south of Ireland, and in particular from the Mallow area, that the 24,000 tons of beet on the way to Tuam might not be available next year, and that they want all their beet for themselves for an economic campaign. If we process over 2,000 tons of beet per day our campaign in Tuam will be shortened by a fortnight. The prospect of a huge increase in beet into the Tuam plant, irrespective of where it comes from, is not great at this stage.

Other important considerations arise. I am not too happy about the actions of the board of the Sugar Company over the years in relation to their western activities. I should like to go on record as saying it would appear that, when any projects had to be chopped, the Sugar Company headed west first to do the hatchet work.

That is what the Deputy's Government always do.

The Sugar Company closed the Tuam potato plant, and I will come to that in a moment.

Is it not an act of economic terrorism on the part of the Government? It is a disgrace.

This is Deputy Connaughton's maiden speech and he should be allowed to speak without interruption.

Is it not an act of economic terrorism committed on the people of Tuam?

Deputy Andrews, when I am speaking you should not speak. It has been the practice never to interrupt a new Deputy during his maiden speech.

I did not realise it was his maiden speech. I apologise.

What about the Lusitania?

What about the twenty factories the Deputy's Government closed?

I understand that the projected losses for the Sugar Company this year will be something like £14 million or £15 million, and to that the Tuam factory will contribute something like £2½ million. If that is the case, I wonder what other factories are likely to be in trouble. While it is true that Tuam is in a loss-making position, there must be other loss makers somewhere in the group also. I would ask the board of the Sugar Company to look very seriously at that matter.

In my opinion most of the Sugar Company's factories have been grossly overstaffed over the years. I understand from a recent communique from the workers that, as a matter of self discipline, they have decided to reduce the numbers. I consider there has been very bad management by the chief executives and the board of the Sugar Company. I cannot understand why it is necessary for the Government to pump something like £75 million into the sugar industry to make it competitive. The problems should have been foreseen years ago and the necessary finance made available down through the years.

Tuam was also the poor relation when it came to capital investment. A total of about £49 million was spent in the past ten or 12 years by the Sugar Company group for modernisation of factories. In Tuam we got £3 million. Deputy Richie Ryan, as Minister for Finance, pumped £800,000 into Tuam in the mid-seventies.

The Deputy should not cold himself.

Mr. Doherty

They got rid of him.

A very eminent professor, Professor Rafferty of University College Cork——

A good Fianna Fáil man no doubt.

——a beet grower and an authority on agriculture not only here but all over Europe — all I quote from the Irish Independent——

He said it would not be viable to get beet into Tuam any more. He suggested an alternative industry which could be housed in a sugar factory. I am very interested in this. It is rape oil seed for the manufacture of vegetable fats. This crop could very well be grown in the west. It is ideally suited to our conditions. I will ask the Minister for Agriculture to have it checked out to see if it can be done.

It is vitally important that the labour force in Tuam should have a real alternative. If the beet acreage is not increased next year, and if it is not a viable proposition to process sugar there, I hope we will have a real job for everyone who loses his or her employment. The Minister told us that a 24,000 square foot factory is being allocated to Tuam. I hope that will become a reality and that an industry will be provided there in due course.

It is significant that the members of the Oireachtas all-Party committee were unanimous in suggesting that this sugar factory should close. I have said this publicly before. I was very disappointed that there was not a voice from west of the Shannon on that committee. I do not doubt that the members of the committee were in a position to judge from what they have heard and saw. We have problems in the west which people who do not live there find it hard to understand. If it were possible to increase the beet acreage substantially, I would be asking the Government to ensure that every incentive possible was given to the farmers to continue growing beet for their own factory in Tuam.

Who to blame is an important issue. Fianna Fáil have put down a motion as is their right. It is also worth mentioning that in 1977/78 when the potato part of the Erin Foods arrangement went wallop in Tuam, I did not hear any call from Fianna Fáil for a subsidy for the potato business. What actually happened on that occasion——

The Deputy must be deaf.

——was that it was hived off to a co-operative.

The brainchild of Deputy Killilea at the time. We know exactly what happened.

——that had not the slightest hope of ever getting off the ground. I listened attentively to Deputy MacSharry about the possibility of getting the Minister for Agriculture to negotiate subsidies and so on in the Common Market. I wonder why was that not done in regard to the potato business in Tuam at the time because it left a very sour taste when a lot of people lost their jobs, most of whom had not an opportunity of an alternative. He mentioned also an injection of £500,000, I assume, for modernisation in regard to sugar extraction. If one is to believe what one has heard from various sources it would appear that the Tuam factory would need a far greater injection of capital before it would be on a par even with the other three factories which are also, I understand, very much below European standards.

I might refer again to Professor Rafferty who suggested that it might be very difficult to maintain three factories under the conditions obtaining, never mind four. But, bearing in mind the problems with which we are confronted in the west, every effort must be made by all concerned to grow more beet. I am personally behind the campaign. If it has a reasonably successful outcome then I remain to be convinced that there is no hope for the factory as a beet factory. On the other hand if it is a thing that, for entirely economic reasons we cannot have a beet factory, then without questtion we must have some type of heavy industry which would compensate for the type of jobs people would be likely to lose. I want to go on record here that I will not accept a small demountable type factory from the IDA which might give jobs to perhaps 20 or 30 people only——

That is what they got, according to Mr. Dukes.

I am talking about a huge industry——

The Deputy should remember that there is an industry there if it were retained. Why is there not use made of that factory—there is a fine building there in Tuam?

Nobody has done more to keep it than I.

We shall see this evening.

That metal test.

In the few minutes remaining at my disposal, when it is all said and done, bearing in mind the historic link of the Tuam sugar factory with many thousands of people in the west—if there is a genuine call for a campaign to grow more beet — then I remain convinced that the factory could be saved. Certainly I would be making that request to the Minister for Agriculture at the end of next year if I saw a large increase in the beet acreage. It might well happen that for one reason or another — perhaps because of pressure from the other factories — we would be unable to get the amount of beet that would ensure a reasonably successful campaign. Should that happen, as a member of the Government party, I will be asking the Government to ensure that the jobs exist. I will also be requesting — if they cannot come up with jobs at that time — a continued subsidisation of the factory until there is established a proper alternative industry.

The Minister did not tell the truth last time——

Will the Deputy believe the Minister next time?

——in fairness to Deputy Connaughton.

They are very worried about it now.

I want to go on record as saying that I am not afraid to stand before anybody on this issue. As Deputy Killilea well knows, I went down and met the workers in Tuam. On that occasion I put before them what I thought. I said on that occasion that as far as I was concerned, there was no way any alternative jobs could be provided in Tuam in the limited time available. I said I would do everything withing my power in this regard. I am glad to place on record here also that we got an extension of a year for the beet factory in Tuam at a cost of £2,500,000.

Deputy Kitt called on all Deputies to respond to the people who had private views on this question. I might point out that he forgot to mention Deputy Hugh J. Byrne of Wexford who had very clear views about the factory in Tuam and expressed them.

He is looking for another one, not one less.

As far as this matter is concerned I believe we have an important duty, above politics, to ensure that each man and woman's job is preserved. I shall do my very best in the next 12 months — whether it be a beet or any other type of factory — to ensure that their jobs are saved.

Deputy John Callanan.

Last evening I asked for the right to make a contribution to this debate. I am seeking that right again now. The present position is that we have had two speakers from the Government side, two speakers from the Opposition and——

Deputy Sherlock, may I speak now please? I called Deputy John Callanan because he had indicated that he wanted to speak. You will be called after him. I would suggest that Deputy Sherlock not let time elapse. I have called Deputy Callanan and he must speak now.

Will I have an opportunity to speak after him?

The Deputy will, yes.

When must I finish?

At 8.05 p.m. at the latest——

Deputies

Seven minutes past.

I called the Deputy at 7.25 p.m.

We are not denying him the time; that denial is coming from the other side.

It would be a disaster and diabolical of any Government to close the major industry we have in the west——

A Cheann Comhairle, I have a small contribution to make——

Deputy Callanan is speaking.

A Cheann Comhairle, on a point of order——

Has Deputy Flanagan a point of order? Would he please now tell me the point of order he wishes to make?

On a point of order, in view of the urgency of this matter, there may be Deputies outside of the Galway constituencies who wish to contribute to this debate, such as those from my constituency which has always supplied beet from County Offaly to the factory in Tuam.

Deputy Flanagan, that is not a point of order. Would Deputy Callanan please proceed?

On a point of information to the Deputy, the Leader of this party, on the Order of Business, asked yesterday for Government time to debate this motion and was denied it. Therefore the Deputy should take the matter up with his Leader.

There should be no restriction on time in this debate.

I have the habit of not interrupting others when they speak, I do not think I have ever done so. I intend now to say what I have to say, I hope, without interruption. I listened carefully to Deputy Connaughton and did not interrupt him.

No, but he was interrupted.

I am talking now about myself and I do not interrupt. Anyway I shall say what I intend one way or the other. To close the Tuam beet factory is a diabolical act, one of which the Government should be ashamed—the major industry in Tuam. Talking about alternative industries and so on is rubbish. Deputy Connaughton said in the course of his speech that it would be kept open until, I think, 1982-1983, when he would go to the Taoiseach. I do not want to be a prophet of gloom, but the way the Government are going it will be our leader who will open it in 1983. Fianna Fáil opened the factory in Tuam for social reasons. I was present when the sod was turned for the foundation of that factory. I grew beet for the factory until I became a Member of this House. It became uneconomic for me to continue because I had only a small farm.

Deputy Connaughton gave examples of the return from beet. When we grew beet it was on one acre and half an acre and we got up to 17 tons. It was 30 shillings a ton. If it were not for the factory in Tuam many small farmers in the thirties would not have survived. Sheep were sold for £1 and cattle for £6. If one got £2 for growing beet, one could buy cattle or sheep.

There is more beet grown in County Galway than there is in a county in Munster where there is a big factory. Beet production increased in Tuam last year because of an incentive given by the former Minister for Agriculture. In the thirties one ton of pulp was given back for every 16 tons of beet. Beet would be grown in the west if there was a plan for doing so.

I have great respect for the workers. They are dedicated men but they are being thrown to the wolves. They are prepared to go to any extent as regards staffing and co-operation with the company to ensure that the factory is not closed. I was secretary of a beet growers association and we formed a group. The person in charge of the company had an interest in mechanisation for small farmers. At that time the work was all hand done and there was very little tare. Recently 11 tons of beet was the average because there is so much tare. I had only average land but I was able to get 17 tons. On average I got 13 tons but during the war years, because there was no artificial manure available, I was down to nine tons.

There was one area in County Galway, Ardrahan, where some of the best beet in Ireland was stationed. In regard to potato planting I remember sending potatoes to the Tuam factory for £8 a ton with 20 per cent dry matter. When we tried to get a decent price from them they went behind our backs. We were looking for £12 a ton. The farmers in Louth, fair play to them, send them down at £9 a ton until they got a better market elsewhere. We could not grow them at that price because my average production was 11 tons. The company would not make a decent deal with us so they were not all that co-operative.

About 20 years ago I was in Paris at a conference of international agricultural producers. We were speaking to those in charge of beet factories in the Netherlands. These factories were co-operatives. Nobody would be accepted as a member of a co-op unless he grew 10 acres of beet. I asked somebody would it eventually come to be the case in Ireland. The company were very anxious to get rid of the small grower. I do not believe every effort was made to make Tuam a viable proposition. The company were biased against the factory there. I appeal to the Minister to see that something is done now.

I have great respect for Deputies Connaughton and Donnellan. Deputy Donnellan's father, Michael Donnellan, was involved in this from the beginning. There are three Deputies in the Government from the west with intelligence and yet the Taoiseach did not think it worth his while to pick one of them as a Minister. Indeed, Deputy Donnellan's father was a Minister of State. The Government do not give a damn about the west. One will not see a State car in the west. It looks like a case of to hell or to Connacht.

I hear a lot of talk about employment and advance factories. How many of these are idle at present? Quite a substantial number. The fact that there is an advance factory in an area is no indication that there will be an industry there in a reasonable time. In Tuam not only is there the beet factory but engineering and turf cutting operations. They will all go when the factory closes. The psychological effect this will have on people in the west will be the biggest disadvantage of all. It is ridiculous, with the number of people who are unemployed at present in the west, to talk about closing the factory.

The workers are very dedicated and are determined, with the help of the BVGA, to do everything possible to keep the factory open. It is necessary to have a plan for Tuam. How can we ask farmers to produce more beet and become mechanised when we tell them we are closing down the factory next season? I suggest that the BVGA and the action group should form groups such as I did in my time. I got a group together in my area of 40 farmers who had only 50 acres between them. We bought a seeder and a hoe and arranged with the contractor to harvest the beet. It is not possible for small farmers to become mechanised on their own but they could do it collectively. If I was not a Member of the House I would grow beet all the time. The tops of beet can be given to sheep and this helps to provide winter feed for them. When I used to grow an acre or two of beet at this time of year I would buy in 20 sheep to eat the tops of the beet. At that time everything was cheap but of £1 per head meant a profit straight away of £20 for the 20 sheep. Therefore, there is an added incentive to beet growers in this way. The smaller a beet grower was the more efficient he was. The small man was in a position to supervise everything personally. For those growing beet on a large scale there is the cost of hiring machinery which takes from the profits.

I am convinced that sufficient beet would be available for the factory if the company produced a five, six or eight year plan. Another point that is important to remember is that while the factory at Tuam was not established solely for social reasons there was a social element involved. The country should be run for people as opposed to running the economy but I fear that the latter is what is happening now. To concentrate only on the economy would be to eliminate all the social amenities. How many of the State companies that are operating for the social benefit of the people are paying? The answer is one. Every penny lost in the Tuam operation is being costed now but we have not seen any detailed account of the other millions of pounds that the company have lost in the past two years.

Deputies

Hear, hear.

The figure of £2,500,000 has been mentioned in terms of keeping the factory open but we hear nothing of the amount of money that will be involved by way of redundancy payments, pay-related benefits and unemployment benefits, not to mention the psychological effect on the whole area because of closing the factory. Though I live some 25 miles from Tuam I was associated very much with the factory. The decision to site the factory in Tuam was taken by Fianna Fáil but certain members of the then Opposition said that the crows would fly through that factory. I wonder if that is still their attitude. I am fairly old but I understand what is going on all around me. I do not like to be bitter but I wonder if the fact that this factory is suffering now is because it was supposed to have been the baby of the late Mr. de Valera who had it established for social as well as for economic reasons.

I know that is not the case so far as each of the local Deputies is concerned but it is a great shock to all concerned to be faced with the closure of the operation. At the first indication that something was happening I attended a meeting in Tuam at which I said that there would be no closure, that this was something we had been hearing about for a number of years but I was astonished when news of the intention to close reached me. One can only wonder where all the socialists on the other side of the House are or what they will do next. It is all very well to say that everything must be costed but that is not much help to those who lose their jobs. In the case of Tuam the loss-making situation began only in the past couple of years but suddenly the factory is being axed. I acknowledge that the Fine Gael Deputies in the area did their best to avert a closure but they do not seem to have any influence. They did not get the cars but neither did they get the factory. I am aware that the Deputies across the House are under instructions from their Whip to vote against us this evening but they could make their protest by abstaining. We are not making a political issue of this matter. As we have made clear from the start there is no question of bringing down the Government. Should they be defeated this evening it is not our intention to table a vote of no confidence in them. All we are asking them to do is to keep the Tuam factory open. I appeal to the Government this evening not to close that factory. I should like to hear what Deputy Donnellan has to say on this whole matter.

If the Deputy sits down I shall speak.

I will not sit down now. The Deputy should have got time from the Government. We intend to take up the time alloted to us. The only incentive ever given to beet growers in the Tuam area was that given by our spokesman on agriculture, Deputy MacSharry, and that was by way of a subsidy towards pulp. We have heard a good deal about not being able to use EEC money to help out this factory but it could be used by way of a subsidy on pulp. Such a subsidy would be an incentive to many people to grow beet. I am convinced that in a situation such as that which prevailed in the old days when there was a ton of pulp allowed for in respect of each 60 or 70 tons of beet supplied to the factory, plenty of beet would be grown in the Tuam area. When I talk of beet growing in that area I am thinking of an area stretching down to Offaly and including also some parts of Meath. When I was a member of the BVGAI served with some very fine men from both Meath and Offaly. I have much respect for the Minister for Agriculture on a personal level so when I criticise him it is in respect of his policies. It is ridiculous for him to say that the other sugar factories will take beet from the west. We know very well that BVGA members in the Thurles, Carlow or Mallow areas will not allow beet from outside into their factories until their own produce has been taken. Consequently, beet from those areas that would normally serve the Tuam factory would not be taken at these other factories until January or February. Anyone who knows anything about beet growing knows that it is not good to have the beet on hands after Christmas. I recall a time when there was a threatened strike at the Tuam factory during the winter months and when the late Jim Larkin, a man for whom I had great respect, spoke here as a trade unionist and asked the workers not to strike at that time because of beet being a perishable commodity. Beet left uncovered in frosty weather deteriorates within a very short time.

Nobody can speak with more authority. That is why I would like Deputy Donnellan to get five minutes because he should be an authority on it also. I speak with authority and I know what I am talking about and cannot be contradicted. I spent all my life growing beet until I came in here and I would be growing it still if I had not come in here, although I might not be very active on a tractor now. I grew beet when we pulled it and counted it with our hands. We filled it into a horse's cart and we brought it five miles to the railway station and threw it into the railway wagon with our hands. We brought two loads per day. We got up at 6 o'clock in the morning and started taking off leaves from the beet. We had to do it in those times and if it had not been for the beet at that time we might not be farming today. The beet was there for economic as well as social reasons as far as the west of Ireland was concerned. I am confident that it will be there again and that the people will grow it, provided the Government change their attitude. There is no good in Deputy Connaughton saying that he will give all. I know he will throw his weight behind the campaign to grow beet, but it will be to grow beet for a factory that will be open for only 12 months. In the name of all that is good and holy, what is he thinking of? All we are asking for is a long-term policy. The farmers will grow beet if it pays them. If they got the pulp, with the increase in the sheep population in the west of Ireland — which has been very substantial because only very few were interested in sheep until the last couple of years, again thanks to Fianna Fáil when we got into the French market——

Deputy Callanan has had a good chance. He is speaking for——

(Interruptions.)

I will be finished in five minutes. I will keep exactly to what you said, Sir.

The Deputy is a good employee of the Sugar Company.

(Interruptions.)

Deputy Callanan is in possession and he has only a few moments. Please let him proceed.

I was the best of friends with the members of the old BGA from all of the factory areas. As far as Tuam is concerned there was no attempt by any of the factory areas when I was on the central executive of the association to do anything that would downgrade Tuam. Do not forget that the Government of the day are the major shareholders in the Sugar Company and they can call the tune. No matter what the Sugar Company want to do, if the shareholders say it is not to be done that settles that.

I very seldom feel as strongly about anything as I do about this because I was associated with it and because I am a farmer. I believe that it will not be realised until the factory is gone what a terrible blow it will be both psychologically and economically to the west. I appeal on behalf of the workers who are making every effort to help in anything which the company needs to make the factory viable. The workers are prepared to cooperate, but I am afraid that the factory is going to be closed and I hope it is not for political reasons. I remember being in Tuam at a meeting when it was pointed out that nowhere was this to be made a political football. This motion is that the Government would keep the factory open and that is what we are asked to vote for. I make a special appeal. There is no good in talking about advance factories. We have seen too many of them empty. There is no good in talking about other industries. This is a major industry in the west. Close it and you strike a blow against the west, but as I said before, I am afraid the west does not count very much with the present administration.

A Cheann Comhairle——

Deputy Sherlock.

On a point of order——

We have very little time for points of order.

I would appeal to Deputy Sherlock to share the ten minutes with me.

I want to make the point that there have been Government spokesmen and Opposition spokesmen.

I have called Deputy Sherlock. I ask him please to use his time.

On a point of order, will Deputy Sherlock be——

(Interruptions.)

This is a point of order.

Is Deputy Sherlock speaking here as an Independent Deputy or as a spokesman for the Sugar Company?

I am not a spokesman for the Government, the Opposition or the Sugar Company but a Deputy having 18 years employment with the Irish Sugar Company and I will be having regard to the facts as I know them. It is more than surprising that in February 1981 when the recommendation of the Joint Committee on State-Sponsored Bodies made known that they recommended the closure of the Tuam factory, Deputy Callanan and all his colleagues did not get down to it and show the Irish Sugar Company and the Government or the State that they could grow this beet and produce it in that area west of the Shannon. No, there was just a marginal increase in the acreage of beet grown. It is amazing that people who are so aware now did not see the writing on the wall for them then. The beet has not been grown in the area. It was stated in an editorial of the Farmers Journal that the beet would not be grown in the area. If that is the authentic voice of the farmers I do not know what the Deputies are speaking about.

We are told that the borrowings of the Irish Sugar Company are now £75 million and that the interest repayable is around £14 million this year. Is it the Government, the Opposition or the company who should be debating this matter? Is it the banks who should be debating this issue? In effect it is the banks who own the Irish Sugar Company now.

Is the Deputy for closing down Tuam?

The director of the company said that the assets of the company were in the region of £46 million. You would not need to be an economist to calculate that any company with assets of £46 million and borrowings of over £75 million would not be very long in business in any other circumstances.

(Interruptions.)

There would be no problem with the Irish Sugar Company if they had been allowed to follow the policy which they adopted and saw as absolutely necessary for them to adopt five or six years ago or even longer, the policy of diversification. In the first instance when the Irish Sugar Company were under the management of Lieutenant-General M. J. Costello, head of Erin Foods, the Government of the day restricted that company to 30 per cent of the home market. Was that fair? Was it fair to pay State money into a company to set up Erin Foods so that they could go into the food business and then decide that they would get 30 per cent of that market and no more? Lieutenant-General Costello proved in no uncertain manner that he was a capable man who developed the food industry and the Irish Sugar Company. Who accepted his resignation and why did he resign? It was because the Government interfered in the company business.

(Interruptions.)

I have positive proof that he made further efforts at diversification.

(Interruptions.)

What way is the Deputy going to vote?

In the Mallow area that company manufactured the best alluminium body on the Irish market and had a market in India for that aluminium truck body. Somebody came down to say that we were not allowed to do this any more. Somebody had gone to the Government and said that the company must not be allowed to do this kind of work and the company had no choice but to give up that work. At the time Fianna Fáil were in power. Who stopped the Irish Sugar Company from going into the fertiliser business once they had purchased the factory in Waterford?

What about Tuam?

If the company had been allowed to diversify there is no doubt that it would not be in the financial straits it is in at present.

Tell us about Tuam.

We must talk about the company's loss because it is the company who had to make the decision in view of the fact——

It was Erin Foods who dragged the Sugar Company down.

It was Government interference and especially Fianna Fáil's interference in the company's diversification programme which dragged the Irish Sugar Company down. There is no doubt about that. Originally a factory was built in the Tuam area and it was stated that 13,000 acres of beet would be grown in the catchment area of that factory. A couple of years ago there were just 2,430 acres of beet grown in that area and Deputy Killilea must have been asleep if he thought that situation could continue. One will have to make the decision at the end of the day in the light of what one knows about the situation. There is fear in the minds of the people employed at present by the Irish Sugar Company in Mallow, Thurles or anywhere else because the company have not got the support they deserve because the previous Government who were in power for so long did not increase the equity base or the equity capital of the company. There was no increase despite the fact that the company were going down and down.

One also must recognise the fact that borrowings must be attributed also in part to the heavy capital programme on which the company have had to embark. The fears in the minds of those at present employed by the company — and it is only a few months since I left the company on leave of absence on my election to Dáil Éireann — is that the company will not survive and, whether it is Mallow, Thurles or Carlow——

It is only two months since the Deputy left the company; he just got out in time.

Any analysis of this situation will have to be based on whether it is the best proposition to keep a factory which has not just been a lame duck, but, as far as the Irish Sugar Company are concerned, a dead duck for many years. Our proposal is to establish an industry in the Tuam area which could obviously provide more security than a sugar factory because it appears that we have not got in the past eight or ten years and are unlikely to get in the future the raw materials in the Tuam area, irrespective of what Deputy Callanan says. By reason of that fact it would be wrong to build up the hopes of people who are depending on it for a livelihood. There should be a proper analysis of the situation and a decision should be based on that.

Economic logic was not applied to the decision to place the sugar factory in Tuam, but economists are making the decision today to close it. That is fundamental to this whole issue. Economists, in the name of the Minister for Agriculture, the Taoiseach, Fine Gael and the Government, have made the decision to close Tuam sugar factory. That is final and I will not go into any of the other arguments about what happened before and what will happen again.

I want to remind the Minister, Deputy Dukes, that in 1971 when the Beet Growers' Association were beaten in the election for the representation of farmers on the Sugar Company, the present Minister for Agriculture before the BVGA were amalgamated with the IFA proposed on behalf of the Tuam board of the Beet and Vegetable Growers' Association a programme exactly the same as we are presenting today from the workers, the farmers and the clergy. The present Minister for Agriculture brought forth a programme and made representations to the then Government. Today that same man who made the programme we have on paper today rejects it. That is also fundamental to this issue. I am sorry because this is deeply felt in the community in which I live. I had the privilege once of representing Tuam; I do not have that privilege any more, but I know how the people of that town feel. If you look at this months' issue of Biatas, the magazine published by the Sugar Company, you will see the faces of the workers, small farmers, temporary employed people and the women of Tuam. You will never forget it because there is a sadness there that is expressed only by them. We could talk in this House forever, but there was never an economic reason for putting the Sugar Factory in Tuam and there should not be an economic reason today to close it, in spite of what Deputy Sherlock said. Does Deputy Sherlock think that his fellow workers in the Irish Sugar Company think much of him today from the statements he has made tonight? Many of them are sitting in the gallery of the House and I appreciate that they came to listen to this debate. It is the last straw which they can clutch — the hope that we will decide tonight by vote that we will make the present Government, and particularly the front bench, change their minds on the policy they have implemented, or are trying to implement, in regard to the closure of the factory. They are here tonight because they are democrats too. I am a democrat and I hope that the Fine Gael TDs from Connacht will be democrats tonight. There is a plan and where there is a will there is a way. As Deputy Callanan said, there is a will and I hope the Minister will make the way possible.

The Beet and Vegetable Growers Association have committed themselves publicly to the assessment that an investment of £500,000 into a programme to grow beet in the Tuam factory area over a three-year period will reap in excess of 10,000 acres. That is a small investment for any Government to make in a community, in a district and an area in which we live. I should now like to address my remarks to Deputy Sherlock because he should get his facts right. When the former Minister for Agriculture allowed the Sugar Company to pay by way of a subsidy on pulp an amount of money equivalent to £36 per acre last year, a grow-more-beet campaign commenced in that area of the west and I am proud to tell Deputy Sherlock that in that campaign the county of Galway increased its acreage by 1,000 acres. The facts are there to prove that statement. That amounted to an increase of 39 per cent in one year. What about today? The Minister, Deputy Dukes said last night that there is a differential in the return of cash to the farmer to the tune of approximately two tonnes per acre due to climatic conditions, small farms and the many other reasons that prevail in Connacht. I should like to ask the Minister now, as the BVGA, the workers, the clergy, the Archbishop of Tuam and the people of the west are asking him now to give us that intervention of money that was given before and we will return 10,000 acres of beet to keep the Tuam factory open and viable.

The Deputy's party had a chance over the last four years and they did not do anything.

In addition to that the Minister should listen to what the workers have to say. They are a unique group of workers, particularly in Tuam, because they realise the delicacy of the factory. We are all aware that it has literally been closing since the day it opened. Every year there has been such a cry. As a matter of fact I should like to remind Deputy Sherlock that Mr. A.J.F. O'Reilly who was for a short time managing director of the Sugar Company had an agricultural adviser in Tuam shifted because he was getting too much beet in Connacht for the Tuam sugar factory, and that was not so many years ago.

I should like to remind Deputy Sherlock of another fact. When it was said on the last occasion by my father, Deputy Donnellan's father and Deputy Connaughton's father, that we would give them 13,000 acres of beet they were given that acreage of beet. In fact, they were given 16,500 acres of beet, almost twice as much as Mallow at that time when it was difficult. They are the facts. What are we doing about the closure of Tuam? It should be remembered that the Tuam sugar factory is the axis, the wheel on which the town of Tuam is based. We should always remember that. I challenge any member to go to Tuam and ask any person there where the "factory" is without mentioning the name of it and I guarantee each member that that person will respond by sending the person inquiring to the Tuam sugar factory. That is an indication of what it means to the town and to the district. It is the lifeblood of economic, social and psychological activity in the west.

I notice that tonight we have in our presence — I regret that he did not make a contribution — the Minister for the £300 million we are to spend in the west Deputy Nealon. I should like to tell that Minister that the Tuam factory has given to society in the west of Ireland many things. In the vocational field by the management of the factory and the make-up of it it has given to society in the west vocational teachers, trained men who served their time there and got jobs outside. In his own county of Sligo, not taking into account Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Clare, there are about nine and, in fact, one of them was so good that he was promoted principal of a vocational school in that county. When the AnCO training centre was looking for people to give instructions, out of 22 appointed in Galway city the Tuam factory supplied to that training centre a total of 12 instructors. There are seven of them in Sligo, four of them in Athlone and I do not know where the rest of them have gone. How can one replace that with another industry? What is the Minister talking about? There can be no replacement for such an industry because it gives to us a wealth of knowledge, a bail for the community that is unequalled. That cannot be given by an alternative industry. We have a sugar factory and we have always had a problem with that factory but the answer to that problem is not to close it. The answer is to tackle the problem, to do it by planning and investment.

What did the Deputy's party do about that?

What money did the Deputy's party put into the factory last year?

We were not asked.

The previous Government were asked.

This is hypocrisy of the worst type.

The board of the Sugar Company asked the Government for £74 million and that is a fact. The initial investment in the Sugar Company by the State was £6 million. Not taking into account the income tax, company profit tax and all the other taxes that accrued to the State from that initial investment of £6 million, the company returned as well in share profit which was grabbed by the Department of Finance each year a total of £18 million since its foundation. Yet, it is a magnificent organisation. That is what happened to the Sugar Company.

Why did the Deputy's party let it run down?

I should like to add that the Sugar Company is entitled to come back and ask for £74 million and I am one who feels that they should get it and get it urgently.

Why did the Deputy's party not give it to them last year?

The Deputy's party closed it.

In giving it to them the taxpayers of Offaly, of Sligo and Donegal are paying for it. We should be given value for our money and it should be invested in Connacht and in the Tuam factory.

The taxpayers were paying the Deputy's salary when he was in Government and damn little return he gave them for it.

I will not listen to the qualms of the Minister for rising prices, Deputy Kelly. I want to make an appeal in a compassionate way. I will start with my friend Deputy Higgins from Galway city. Many of the workers in the Tuam sugar factory went to Galway to give him a hand to make his way to this House and I ask him to sit on his chair and let the front bench decide. I ask him not to vote on this motion tonight and sit in protest at the closure.

Why is the Deputy making a partisan speech?

I now turn to my other friend, Deputy Paul Connaughton, a man I have worked with in Tuam Mart and a man I have seen at his work around Galway. Deputy Connaughton knows, as well as I do, that they cannot give us an alternative. I ask him not to break his party line but sit down in his seat, stay there and not get up. I do not know many more of the western Deputies but, finally, I want to turn my attention to a Member who has been a political enemy of mine all his life — his father was also opposed to my father — God rest both of them; they spent days and nights in the cold in Connacht putting the Tuam Sugar Factory where it is today. Deputy Donnellan has made it known publicly throughout the country that he is disappointed at the performance of the Government. I say to him: "Do not break your party loyalty, Sit in your chair and let them go up and vote." The Deputy would be doing so on a non-political basis. We are not asking for the downfall of the Government. We are using the democracy of the House to tell the Government and the economists, once and for all, to keep their messy fingers off the west of Ireland, and have the courage of their convictions. I am sure Deputy Enda Kenny understands what I am saying, and I am certain Deputy McCartin knows what I am talking about.

(Interruptions.)

This is your chance to make this Government change their minds.

(Interruptions.)

On behalf of all the people listening to this debate I plead with the Coalition to listen to us with compassion and keep open that factory which has provided the lifeblood of many people, people who are against me politicially but who, nevertheless, I am proud to represent. Give these people a chance. Let them vote us out if they want, but do not let us vote against them.

I am not asking anyone in the Coalition to join Fianna Fáil but I am asking them to sit down with us, let them close this factory if they are able, but I guarantee they will not. We might lose the first round but Fianna Fáil will not lose the war.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 78; Níl, 77.

  • Allen, Bernard.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bermingham, Joseph.
  • Birmingham, George.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Burke, Dick.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Byrne, Hugh. (Dublin North-West).
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • D'Arcy, Michael J.
  • Deasy, Martin A.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Donnellan, John F.
  • Dukes, Alan M.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • Fennell, Nuala.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom. (Cavan-Monaghan).
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Fleming, Brian.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • L'Estrange, Gerry.
  • McCartin, John J.
  • McMahon, Larry.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Connor, John.
  • Cooney, Patrick M.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Cosgrave, Michael J.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Markey, Bernard.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Molony, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • (Limerick East).
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Brien, William.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Ryan, John J.
  • Ryan Richie.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, Patrick J.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Taylor, Madeleine.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Treacy, Seán.
  • Tully, James.
  • White, James.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Acheson, Carrie.
  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Andrews, Niall.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Burke, Raphael P.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • (Wexford).
  • Callanan, John.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Clohessy, Peadar.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Gerard.
  • Coughlan, Clement.
  • Cowen, Bernard.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Filgate, Eddie.
  • Noonan, Michael J.
  • (Limerick West).
  • O'Donoghue, Martin.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Fitzgerald, Gene.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin South-Central).
  • Fitzsimons, Jim.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Joyce, Carey.
  • Keegan, Seán.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Lemass, Eileen.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Loughnane, William.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Meaney, Tom.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Murphy, Ciarán P.
  • Nolan, Tom.
  • Sherlock, Joe.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael J.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies L'Estrange and Mervyn Taylor; Níl, Deputies Moore and Briscoe.
Question declared carried.
Question put: "That the motion, as amended, be agreed to".
The Dáil divided: Tá, 78; Níl, 77

  • Allen, Bernard.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bermingham, Joseph.
  • Birmingham, George.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Burke, Dick.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Byrne, Hugh. (Dublin North-West).
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Connor, John.
  • Cooney, Patrick M.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Cosgrave, Michael J.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • D'Arcy, Michael J.
  • Deasy, Martin A.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Donnellan, John F.
  • Dukes, Alan M.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • Fennell, Nuala.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom. (Cavan-Monaghan).
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Fleming, Brian.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • L'Estrange, Gerry.
  • McCartin, John J.
  • McMahon, Larry.
  • Markey, Bernard.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Molony, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael. (Limerick East).
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Brien, William.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Ryan, John J.
  • Ryan Richie.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, Patrick J.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Taylor, Madeleine.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Treacy, Seán.
  • Tully, James.
  • White, James.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Acheson, Carrie.
  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Andrews, Niall.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Burke, Raphael P.
  • Byrne, Hugh. (Wexford).
  • Callanan, John.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Clohessy, Peadar.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Gerard.
  • Coughlan, Clement.
  • Cowen, Bernard.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Filgate, Eddie.
  • Fitzgerald, Gene.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom. (Dublin South-Central).
  • Fitzsimons, Jim.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Joyce, Carey.
  • Keegan, Seán.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Lemass, Eileen.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Loughnane, William.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Meaney, Tom.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Murphy, Ciarán P.
  • Nolan, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael J.
  • (Limerick West).
  • O'Donoghue, Martin.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Sherlock, Joe.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael J.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies L'Estrange and Mervyn Taylor; Níl, Deputies Moore and Briscoe.
Question declared carried.

This is a sad day for rural Ireland.

Economic vengeance on the west of Ireland by one vote. The Government parties should be ashamed of themselves.

The Dáil adjourned at 9 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 22 October 1981.