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18/09/2021

Fair to say Greens have 'made their mark' in Government claims Laois Offaly Minister

Offaly Green Minister 'delight' at fur farm shutdown

Minister of State State Pippa Hackett at her desk in the Department of Agriculture

The future of the Midlands is clean, green, digital, and innovative', says Laois Offaly Green Party Minister of State Pippa Hackett who says her party has made its mark on government.

The senator, who sits at the Government table due to her status as a so-called super junior Minister, is looking to the future for Laois, Offaly and other counties in the region after a year in office.

“The towns and villages of the Midlands are adapting to a cleaner, more sustainable way of living which will benefit everyone,” she said in a statement.

 Cllr Hackett pointing some of the achievements after 12 months.

“Across the country, social homes are being retrofitted with funds from the Carbon Tax, but eight midland counties – including Laois and Offaly – were given additional funding in recognition of the sacrifices this region will make in adapting.

“Laois-Offaly ETB has become one of four Centres of Excellence for retrofitting training, ensuring that our young people have the skills to avail of job opportunities in this area. 

“And Portlaoise is being funded to become Ireland’s first low-carbon town with the National Climate Action Plan identifying the town as a demonstration project for decarbonisation’," she said. MORE BELOW LINK.

Minister Hackett, who unsuccessfully contested the 2020 General Election, highlighted some of the other towns which she said had benefitted from the Brown-to-Green agenda.

“Edenderry is carrying out a carbon-challenge feasibility study; Rhode has a green energy park; Ferbane has a food campus and innovation centre; and hydroponic farming is happening in the peatlands of Offaly – all with financial assistance from the Just Transition Fund," she said.

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture also referred to the transition underway at Bord na Móna. 

 “I know of course that many jobs, and indeed ways of life, have come to an end there but at the same time 245 jobs have been created. I understand the company expects their workforce to be in excess of 2,000 within 10 years as it moves into renewable energy, recycling and other business opportunities. That must surely be a cause for optimism," she said.

Sen Hackett, who as Minister has responsibility for Lan Use and Biodiversity, went on to welcome Green Ministers’ achievements which she said were not confined to the Midlands.

“Roderic O’Gorman has delivered additional parental leave, birth tracing legislation and LGTB supports while he is also planning the dismantling of the direct provision system;  Catherine Martin has been striving to support those in the hospitality and entertainment sectors who lost their income overnight, and thanks to Eamon Ryan, children all over the country are cycling safely to school while the rest of us are getting out the bicycles to tackle the Greenways.  

“All in all, I think it’s fair to say that the Greens have made their mark and the country is a better place thanks to the agreement we entered into this time last year,” concluded the Geashill based farmer.

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