Local residents welcome 'wonderful news' of 1,600 jobs
THE village of Slieverue was just hearing the news yesterday evening that up to 1,600 jobs are to be created on their doorstep as a result of the latest Glanbia development a few kilometres away at Belview Port.
"It would be fantastic for the area," said fruit and veg seller Brendan Walsh. "Absolutely wonderful. It's fairly quiet around here lately, with lots of unemployment, so it would give the whole area a great lift."
Looking across the traffic-free main street running through Slieverue, one of the most southerly parishes in Co Kilkenny and just across the N25 from Belview where the new milk processing plant will be built, Mr Walsh added: "Unless there's some occasion or something like that, there's nothing going on here most days."
Waiting for a bus, Zoe O'Brien said it would be "good for the area" to have such an employment boost nearby. "A lot of people are working in Waterford city," she replied when asked about the unemployment problem.
"It would be great to have more jobs so close."
Despite living in Slieverue since 1947, when he moved from Grantstown across the border in Co Waterford, Pat Phelan laughingly described himself as "an importee".
But he was easily able to remember a time when nearby Christendom had its own food processor, Clover Meats, which employed a sizeable few from the district. "That's gone since 1984, and was the main source of employment until then."
But he said a concrete plant which can be seen from the village has re-opened in recent times, thanks to work secured with the development at Belview. "It's good news, it has to be," he said of the Glanbia announcement. "Unemployment is everywhere really, isn't it?"