Coughlan defends support for Dell workers

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan said today that European funding for people in Limerick who lost their jobs in Dell will begin to be drawn down this week and next.

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan said today that European funding for people in Limerick who lost their jobs in Dell will begin to be drawn down this week and next.

Concern had been expressed that the €23m would be lost as it had not been used a year after over 2,400 people were made redundant.

The Government is rejecting accusations of not acting on the interim report of the Mid West Task Torce six months ago.

Last week the head of the task force for the region spoke publicly of his surprise that not one of 20 recommendations he made in the report last September had been implemented.

But the Tánaiste told the Dáil that training and business start-up support for ex-Dell workers is underway.

"We will continue to work and progress with the report and with the agencies," she said. "Perhaps it would be best if all the deputies and senators elected in the region would work together in the context of supporting the people. I certainly will be doing that.

Limerick TDs Michael Noonan and Jan O'Sullivan have however accused the Tánaiste of not taking the plight of the people seriously, saying her speech was "guff" and "waffle".

"Your speech is such a collection of guff, prepared for you by people who don't understand what's going on in the region," Deputy Noonan charged. "It's hard to see if we are addressing the same problem at all."

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