A new expert group has been tasked with identifying actions necessary to create an estimated 250 new jobs for Killybegs over a three-year period.
Simon Coveney, TD, minister for agriculture, food and the marine, was in the Donegal fishing port on Friday to announce the creation of 160 new jobs in the fishing sector nationally, 36 of them in Killybegs.
Looking ahead, the minister said an EU assessment showed significant potential for job creation in fisheries-dependent regions, as long as plans included a focus on the region’s natural resources.
The minister said he believed that greater integration between state agencies and stakeholders in the region could achieve that potential.
During his visit, he also announced the expert group he charged with identifying the actions necessary for job creation in Killybegs. Among the members are Sean O’Donoghue, CEO of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, who will chair the new group; and County manager Seamus Neely; Paul Hannigan, president of Letterkenny Institute of Technology; and Niall O’Gorman of the Donegal Fish Merchants Association.
We welcome the 36 jobs that Killybegs will receive, the minister’s optimism for the future and the impressive collection of talent and experience that the expert group represents.
The minister also pledged that he will listen to Donegal fishermen. It’s just too bad they were not listened to as closely in the lead up to the Common Fisheries Policy.
What’s next for Údarás?
Many Gaeltacht activists and representatives welcomed the news that Údarás na Gaeltachta will retain its current functions, especially its employment creation work.
But we are left with a question: If the Údarás budget remains as badly slashed as it was in the most recent government’s budget, what will the authority be able to use to create those jobs?