The Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois is calling on government agencies to work quickly towards making the Midlands region a place with greater opportunities for employment.
Bishop Francis Duffy says in particular, state investment must address the immediate needs of those whose jobs will end in 2020.
He was reacting to the announcement of job losses at ESB plants in Lanesboro, County Longford and Shannonbridge, County Offaly.
“The news of the job losses at ESB plants in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge is a devastating blow to the employees in the midlands region, their families and to the local economy," he said.
"Its personal, social and financial impact on our region cannot be underestimated.
"There are now very serious concerns about the consequences of this decision as it relates to the viability of Bord na Móna as an iconic Irish company.
Over 1,000 people are thought to be affected by the closures with 80 jobs lost.
In a statement earlier in the week, the semi-state body said:
“Having considered the key planning, environmental and commercial issues associated with peat and biomass, regrettably there is no viable business model beyond 2020. Therefore both stations will cease the generation of electricity."