Sugar industry need not have closed

Towns and local economy devastated by bureaucratic decision and failure of Irish government to stand up to EU

Mallow, Co. Cork
Mallow - local economy still feeling effect of decision

The Workers Party has said that a new report which proves that the closure on European Commission instructions of the Mallow sugar factory was unnecessary, highlights the complete failure of the Irish government to stand up to Europe.


Cork Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan said that the report, from the European Court of Auditors,  showed the complete lack of scrutiny of EU directives by Ireland and he said that “crocodile tears from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the IFA are cold comfort to the 240 people who lost their jobs at the Mallow plant or the small farmers who relied on the beet harvest”.

The Court of Auditors investigation show that the EU was working off old statistics in relation to Ireland’s sugar industry and that one of rural Ireland’s economic mainstays, the sugar industry, had been wiped off the map by a combination of EU bureaucracy and Irish government spinelessness towards Brussels.   This had resulted not only in the loss of hundreds of rural jobs, but had also deprived thousands of small farmers and their communities of a reliable annual income in beet production.


Cllr. Tynan said, “The privatisation of the Irish Sugar Company in the 1980s was a disaster for rural Ireland and towns like Mallow.  Like the other privatisations that came after it, this was a short-sighted move with damaging consequences for the economy. 


“The decision to close down the sugar industry and close the plants in Mallow, Thurles, Carlow and Tuam was a body-blow to the rural economy but now we are told that it need never have happened. Like so many things, including the now disgraced Lisbon Treaty, we are only finding out the truth about EU incompetence after the damage is done.”


“It is not good enough for Deputy Ned O’Keeffe and his government colleagues to claim they were lead into closing the beet industry by the EU.  They bent over backwards to do the EUs bidding and only a year ago they did it again when they rammed through another referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and they are doing it now by bankrupting the nation in order to stay within EU rules that were waved aside for Germany and France when they had economic troubles a few years ago.  It is time for Ireland to stand up to the EU and say ‘enough is enough’”, said Cllr. Tynan.


Issued 11th November 2010

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics