The Public Accounts Committee recently called Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan. Towards the end of our discussion I felt it "appropriate that I should speak on behalf of my own constituency" on "an issue that affects the western side of my county."
I noted that Enterprise Ireland has been in talks with individuals who came together to put together a proposal to the agency for Cappoquin Chickens, the food processor, saying: "Effectively, the company brings commercial life into the west of the county. There is no great industrial manufacturing base on that side of Waterford."
Frank Ryan acknowledged as much in his reply: "I am conscious that Cappoquin Chickens is a trading entity and will respond with that in mind. We have been in deep and regular, almost continuous, contact with that company and the new start-up over the past two months. I and my colleagues met the full senior management team last Wednesday [Jan 23]. We continue to work with them. We are impressed by the management team there and we continue our interaction with them. We are very conscious that the jobs lost in that part of Waterford could not be replaced in the foreseeable future.
I concluded by impressing on Mr. Ryan "the singular importance of that operation to that part of the county because of the dearth of an industrial commercial base in that area. It is absolutely critical."