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Coughlan has serious questions to answer over her defence of Greencore – Ferris

11 November, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD


The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris raised the closure of the Mallow and Carlow sugar plants in the Dáil this morning. A report from the European Court of Auditors found that the closure of the Mallow plant by Greencore was unnecessary.

The Kerry North/Limerick Deputy Former Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan also has serious questions to answer with regard to her defence of Greencore's decision at the time.

Deputy Ferris said: “At the time of the closure of Mallow and when Greencore proposed the use of the Carlow sugar factory site for property development, I and others questioned the decision. We pointed out that the Irish sugar industry had been a huge success and that even if the sugar reform had had an impact that there was scope for transforming the plants for the production of biofuel.

“Instead not only did Greencore destroy a formerly successful state industry but it also chose to use the Carlow site to engage in an unsuccessful punt on the property market. And, worse again, the company disgracefully benefited from a compensation package that gave little either to its former workforce or to the farmers who supplied the plants with sugar beet.

“At the very least Greencore’s share of the compensation fund should to be taken from them and redistributed to the workers and farmers.

“Former Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan also has serious questions to answer with regard to her defence of Greencore's decision at the time.” ENDS

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