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Saturday 30 August 2014

Green shoots but a long way to go in rural areas

Ralph Riegel

Published 07/06/2014 | 02:30

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At Eight Degrees Brewing in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork: Head Brewer Mike Magee with Caroline Hennessy, Paudie Mc Auliffe, John Power and Derek Neville Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
At Eight Degrees Brewing in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork: Head Brewer Mike Magee with Caroline Hennessy, Paudie Mc Auliffe, John Power and Derek Neville Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

While the economy has turned a corner for many regional towns, there is nothing like a Dublin-style revival evident.

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Mitchelstown in north Cork suffered a brutal fall-out from Ireland's economic and financial crisis.

One in four retail outlets slashed their workforce, moved to smaller premises or else shut up shop.

The town's fortunes were further hit by the fact its long-time biggest employer, Dairygold, was engaged in a major restruct-uring, which saw hundreds of jobs shed and major plants such as the Galtee pigmeat facility closed down.

Businesses and traders believe there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there is a way to go yet.

Eight Degrees began brewing from a premises on the Dublin Road in Mitchelstown on April 2, 2011 – their workforce has expand- ed from three to seven in the past 18 months.

Manager Paudy McAuliffe said: "We are taking it one step at a time. I don't think there is anyone in business in rural Ireland who isn't cautious after all that has happened."

Joe Walsh of Core Computers has been hiring staff, and said there was now some optimism for the future. "But I think we are all cautious at the moment," he added.

Irish Independent

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