Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Munster is Irelands rust belt: Large areas of the province are an industrial wasteland

The inhabitants of the province of Munster are a quiet people. They have tolerated too much. Traditionally farming food processing and fishing have been mainstays of the provinces economy. In recent years these industries have been blitzed.
Food processing has undergone rationalisation and closures. EU interference and Government failure at EU level wiped out the sugar beet industry and led to the closure of the Mallow sugar beet plant. Fishermen labour under increasingly harsh Government and EU impositions.

Beef, dairy and chicken farming have been crippled by production restrictions and increased Government and EU environmental regulation. Much of the environmental regulation is to put it mildly nonsensical-a product of imbecilish minds. These industries are steadily being regulated out of existence. Yet beef producers in countries such as Brazil are largely exempt from such impositions. Indeed were it not for President Sarkozy’s dogged resistance at the WTO talks 50,000 Irish farmers would have gone out of business whilst another 50,000 employed in spin off industries would have landed on the scrap heap

Chicken has flooded into Ireland from Brazil, Thailand et al. Much of this is relabelled as Irish. The consumer is being hoodwinked. Indeed much of the imported chicken is not even fresh. It often lacks traceability. Spiralling feed costs, loopholes in our food labelling legislation and harsh Government regulation have all but wiped out the chicken industry. Poultry processors such as Castlemahon (Co. Limerick) and Cappoquin Chickens have gone out of business.
A large belt from Mallow (Co. Cork) to Dungarvan (Co. Waterford) is now an industrial wasteland. It is Irelands new rust belt. Food processing industries in towns such as Mallow, Mitchelstown, Cappoquin and Dungarvan have been decimated. Other towns such as Fermoy and Youghal are industrial wastelands.

The Government has failed to protect the indigenous food industry. It will live to rue the day as the dole cues swell.
There is a mistaken assumption in Government quarters that service industries will replace agriculture and food processing. Apparently it is Government policy to trade Irish agriculture in return for access to markets in Asia, South America and Australia for services and industry.

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