Sunday 18 August 2019

Lowry's grandfather worked in peat-fired plant

General view of bogland in Co Offaly. Stock picture
General view of bogland in Co Offaly. Stock picture

Alan O'Keeffe

Peat-fired power stations at Shannonbridge and Ferbane were the lifeblood of the Midlands for generations, said Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen, who said golfer Shane Lowry's grandfather returned from England to work in the Ferbane plant.

The peat-burning station in Ferbane ceased production in 1999 and the death knell was sounded for Shannonbridge in recent days when An Bord Pleanala refused planning permission to redevelop it to use biomass fuel.

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Deputy Cowen has accused Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of failing the people of the Midlands by "throwing in the towel" on Shannonbridge by his failure to speak about appealing the Bord Pleanala decision.

The Taoiseach "spoke of a transition over the coming months" rather than a transition to 2028 as he first promised.

"At this rate there is no way that any investment in the region could keep up with the closures and loss of jobs. His insincerity in saying he does not want the Midlands to end up like South Wales is astounding given that his Government failed to apply for peat regions to be included in EU coal mining in transition programme," he said, adding he will insist the Government appeals the decision.

Sunday Independent

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