Mayo Green Party/Comhaontas Glas Maigh Eo
Secretary: Ed Hopkinson,
21st July 2003
Leader Says Government Is Gambling with Mayo Jobs
Sargent T.D. focuses on jobs, agriculture and tourism during visit to Mayo
Party/Comhaontas Glas Leader, Trevor Sargent T.D., called on the government to
give more support to indigenous industry so that job losses caused by global
downturns, such as the loss of 170 jobs at the Volex factory in Castlebar, could
He was critical
of the government’s recent decision to decrease funding for Enterprise
Ireland, the state agency with responsibility for developing indigenous
industry, while at the same time increasing funding for the IDA, which has
responsibility for bringing in overseas business.
Government is putting all its eggs in the inward investment basket,?he said,
referring to ongoing coalition policy to focus on attracting overseas companies
to Ireland. “However, in doing
so, it is gambling with Irish jobs, including Mayo jobs, and it is losing.?nbsp;
Party supports community development and community enterprise first.
While inward investment can be a part of that, it should not be the
mainstay of economic policy. We
are calling on the government to give more support to indigenous industry as a
vital safety net for when the hard times hit.?o:p>
spoke about the importance of ensuring an adequate livelihood for small farmers
in the West of Ireland and of the need for incentives and targets to encourage
more farmers to move to organic farming.
He said that research (Western Development Commission) had already
shown that farmers in the West were in an ideal situation to reap most benefit
from taking the organic route.
Greens want to keep as many rural families on the land as possible.
In order to do that, farmers have to be able to earn a decent living,?
he said. “That used to be a major
national aim of all political parties but it doesn’t seem to be as important
to them today.?
conceded, however, that the force for change in agricultural and food policies
was bigger than any political party.
terms of food, the power to influence agriculture is with the consumer,?he
said. “They are increasingly
concerned with the quality of their food and they also want food that they can
consume in good conscience.?o:p>
Party Leader also spoke strongly about the need for more eco and cultural
tourism across the country, and particularly in spectacular counties such as
Mayo. As a keen Irish speaker, he
said he had a personal interest in the development of environmentally friendly
tourism in areas such as North Mayo, which is a designated Gaelteacht region.
Sargent T.D., who was elected the
first Green Party Leader at a special Leadership Convention in October 2001, has been a member of the Green Party since
1982 and a T.D. for over ten years now.
He was re-elected to Dáil Eireann for the third consecutive time in the
2002 General Election, topping the
poll in his North Dublin constituency and presiding over the party’s most
successful election to date, taking
Mayo Green Party has enjoyed an increase in membership since that election and
will contest candidates in the 2004 local elections. It meets every first Monday of the month.
For further information about the Green Party nationally or locally,