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McGuinness discusses job creation on visit to South East

11 September, 2010



Deputy First Minister of the North of Ireland Martin McGuinness MP MLA
visited the South East region today on the invitation of Waterford
by-election candidate Cllr David Cullinane.

Mr McGuinness visited Waterford City, Kilkenny City and Carlow and met
local business, trade union, community and civic leaders. The Mayor of
Waterford City Councillor Mary Roche hosted a mayoral reception to mark
his visit ahead of a tour of the house of Waterford Crystal while a
civic reception is to be held by Carlow Town Council.

Mr McGuinness will also attend a party function in Kilkenny this
evening.

Speaking during the visit Mr McGuinness said:

“I am delighted to be visiting the South East region and to be meeting
with business, trade union, community and civic leaders. Unemployment is
a major problem in the Southeast with the standardised unemployment rate
at over 16%. I commend the efforts of local people and civic leaders who
are trying to create enterprise opportunities.

“I am looking forward to visiting the new house of Waterford Crystal. I
was saddened when I first heard the Kilbarry plant was to close and
Waterford and Ireland faced losing an iconic brand. My heart went out to
all the workers and I was moved by their courage when I saw the images
on Television of the workers engaged in a sit in.

“Today we have a different situation. I want to commend all of those who
were part of the exciting House of Waterford Crystal venture. The new
building looks fantastic. It was a remarkable effort by a lot of people
to bring Waterford Crystal manufacturing into the heart of the City. I
hope that those former workers who are without jobs are supported and
find new employment.

“The collective effort of Waterford City Council, trade union and
business leaders to back this plan is a shining example of what can be
achieved through genuine partnership, good will and dare I say taking a
risk. A similar effort is required to bring sugar beet production back
to Carlow. I commend the Sinn Féin initiative to restore the sugar beet
industry in the county.

“A recent meeting organised by Carlow and Kilkenny Councillors Kathleen
Funchion and John Cassin drew cross-party and community support.
Politicians, farmers, business leaders, former workers, the unemployed
and community representatives need to work together to support this
initiative.

“We need to support the development of indigenous and sustainable
industries and small to medium enterprises. We need to play to our
strengths and offer genuine opportunities for young people. I look
forward to discussing these and other important issues with civic
leaders across the Southeast.” ENDS

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