South west Donegal is well positioned to lead a recovery for the country if the right decisions are made to build new industries and tackle vested interests that continue to hamper development in the county, stated Independent general election candidate Cllr Thomas Pringle.
‘There is a first class facility in Killybegs Harbour Center that can provide vital jobs in the southwest if the harbour is opened up to trade. The Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Food has blocked business starting up in the port aided by Tanaiste Mary Coughlan,” said Pringle.
“The excuse used is a conflict with fishing interests but the new pier unfortunately will not see a tail from March to September and they will not even allow a trial run of new business to see if it is possible for them both to live together.
“The fishing industry will always be a vital part of the life of Killybegs but with the automation taking place in the fish processors and the lack of development of added value products employment will decline in the on shore sector.
“In Donegal we can develop a wood for energy sector that can replace oil as the heating source for our houses in the country. We already produce five times more wood than we need to heat the entire country and import €2 billion worth of home heating oil every year.
“This sector if developed would provide sustainable fuel and vital income for farmers as well. These local industries will employ local people and be embedded in the community they will not move to low cost economies” said Pringle.
He added: “Through Donegal County Council and the County Enterprise Board we need to ensure that these agencies respond quickly and positively to encourage the development of local entrepreneurship and in areas like Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, The Twin Towns, The Rosses and Gweedore local business can develop and employ local people. Local jobs stay local and that is the mantra we have to adopt.”