Search Results for: "jobs"

Forty jobs to go with closure of well known nursing home

July 14, 2014 3:43 pm

Shannagh PNH Belleek

 

ONE OF Fermanagh’s best known nursing homes is set to close with the loss of up to 40 jobs

Staff at Shannagh Nursing Home heard the stunning news at a meeting at the home.

Up to 40 people, between full and part-time staff, could now be unemployed as a result of the closure, which is expected at the end of the month

And 15 patients, many of them very elderly, will be looking for alternative care.

Reacting to the distressing news, Councillor John Coyle said he had contacted Taoiseach Enda Kenny urging a “policy change to allow elderly people in Donegal and Leitrim to avail of care services in the North like Shannagh”.

The introduction of a “Fair Deal” scheme by the HSE in the South has prevented patients from using nursing home facilities in the North.

Shannagh’s location on the Donegal border meant it had taken in quite a few patients from the South, but this is no longer the case.

It is huge blow to the economy of the Belleek and surrounding areas.

An emotional Shannagh owner Hugh Tunney said it was “devastating for me and my family and our staff”.

“It was not a decision we took lightly and we tried everything both physically and mentally to keep the business afloat”.

“Since we opened on November 2 1992 we have tried to run a family-oriented home where patients got the very best of care”.

“And we have always tried to employ local people and buy our needs from local suppliers.

“But due to lack of admissions from the Western Trust and the resulting sustained period of low occupancy we are unable to continue”.

Mr Tunney said that every effort would be made to help current patients secure alternative arrangements.

The closure is particularly untimely given that the home had received a glowing report only last June about the quality of its care.

Some of the many complimentary comments from patients and staff said the “food and care in the home was excellent”

Other comments said the staff made patients feel “cared and loved”, and “It is the next best thing to our own home”.

At its peak, Shannagh provided a top quality service for up to 30 patients in a scenic rural setting.

But this had declined to 15 patients in recent times.

And a few years ago, it had four residents aged over 100 including Father Ambrose O’ Gorman who passed away at the age of 102 two months ago.

One of the highlights for Shannagh was the visit of former President Mary McAleese in 2001.

Other celebrities to visit the home included Fine Gael Taoiseach John Bruton and country singing legend Daniel O’Donnell.

Meanwhile in a statement Hugh Tunney added: Our primary objective is to provide the highest standard of care to the residents and therefore the Home will continue to operate until suitable alternative accommodation is found for each one of them. Residents, relatives and staff have been notified and will be kept fully informed. The intention is to manage the home to ensure that residents incur minimal disruption.

“Lines of communication have been opened with the relevant regularity authorities and care reviews for the residents are a priority. I would like to thank the people from Belleek, Garrison and surrounding areas both north and south of the border for their support over the last twenty one years”.

And Mr Coyle added: “This is devastating news for the entire Belleek community. Shannagh nursing home has provided first class care for all its residents for many years and will be sorely missed by those living there, their families and the community.

He added that he will be contacting northern health Minister Edwin Poots. “It’s now clear for everyone to see that the Transforming Your Care agenda is making it difficult for homes like Shannagh to survive. It’s imperative that we see immediate action to ensure the residents are rehomed to avoid unnecessary stress.”

Most local jobs vacancies in sales and retail sector

July 13, 2014 5:16 pm
Phil Flanagan.Sinn Fein

Local MLA Phil Flanagan asked for the local figures in Stormont

THE most advertised job vacancies in Fermanagh do not require a university education and may serve to explain why our graduates are leaving the county in droves.

In Fermanagh the main occupation sought from April 2013 is that of sales/retail assistants. This is followed by; office/clerical workers, carpenters/joiners, cleaners/domestic assistants, van drivers, brick layers/ masons and farm workers.

The information was revealed in Stormont when local MLA Phil Flanagan asked the Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry to detail the sought occupations  and usual occupations of people who are unemployed in the Fermanagh area.

The usual occupations of the unemployed clients closely reflects the sought occupations. Dr Farry added that there has been an approximate reduction of over 10% unemployed clients in the Fermanagh area since April 2013 but the change in profile from April 2013 to June 2014 has been minimal.

Speaking about the findings yesterday Mr Flanagan said he did not feel that they reflected the brain drain from the county, rather illustrated the strong workforce that exists in Fermanagh.

“For me what this shows is that there’s now a higher standard of people getting employment in areas such as these. Going into shops and supermarkets now you see graduates carrying out jobs that before would have been carried out by those less qualified. The demand for jobs is at such a high level that the highly educated and skilled, due to the lack of employment opportunities have to search for jobs below their pay and skills grade or face the prospect of languishing on the dole or like so many have before; emigrating.”

Liberty takeover will not affect 300 local jobs

June 21, 2014 4:00 pm
Job Losses at Liberty Insurance

SAFE… No threat to jobs at Enniskillen-based Liberty Insurance

LIBERTY Mutual Insurance Group, which employs 300 people in the former Quinn Insurance premises it acquired in Enniskillen, has taken over the Newtownards-based Hughes Insurance.

The transaction is expected to be completed in July next year.

A spokesman for Liberty told the Herald there would be no chance to the employment numbers in Enniskillen.

Liberty Insurance also operates from offices in Cavan and Dublin. It provides car and home insurance to the Irish and UK consumer market, along with commercial insurance to the business sector in Ireland.

Its Enniskillen ‘customer care’ call centre handles insurance policies, both for the UK and, principally, for the Republic markets.

The Northern Ireland market forms only a small part of the Enniskillen operations, hence the reason job numbers are not affected.

Hughes Insurance, established in 1977, operates exclusively in Northern Ireland, selling motor, van, home, business and travel insurance.

It employs over 300 people at its headquarters in Newtownards and at its 11 other branches across Northern Ireland, including Omagh.

It distributes 1 in 5 motor insurance policies sold in Northern Ireland, and it has a rapidly growing household and SME (small to medium enterprise) commercial insurance book.

Hughes Insurance has appointed Liberty Insurance Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, as its leading underwriter for new policies issued with effect from July 1, 2014.

The chief executive of Liberty Insurance, Patrick O’Brien said that, over the past two years, Liberty had built a substantial business in the Republic of Ireland.

“I believe Liberty’s acquisition of Hughes, and our appointment as lead underwriter will enable us to build a leading presence in the Northern Ireland market through Hughes’ established network.”

Liberty Mutual is ranked 76th on the ‘Fortune 100’ list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2013 revenue.

It employs more than 50,000 people in some 900 offices throughout the world

Jobs and emigration the big issues for young voters

May 18, 2014 1:00 pm
Leanne Maguire

Leanne Maguire, Sinn Fein

CREATING JOB prospects and opportunities are among the key policies that election candidates here feel will help secure the votes of young people in the county.

Typically seen as covering the ages 18 – 26, getting young people out to vote in the first place has been an issue of debate – and while crossover issues may exist across all denominations, certain issues are of a higher impact to the young voter.

The second youngest candidate in this election, Paul Blake of the SDLP, who is standing in Erne North, said that the main issues facing young people centre around jobs and opportunities in the area.

“Young people returning from university saddled with debt with very little job prospects,” Mr Blake explained.

“So many of our young people are being forced to emigrate in search of employment and experience.”

Leanne Maguire, Sinn Fein candidate in Erne West, described it as ‘an extremely tough time’ for young people.

“It is said that for the first time ever, this generation of young people will be worse off than their parents, which is a scary thought.”

Ms Maguire went on: “From my engagements with young people, the main issues affecting them are the complete absence of any opportunities for part time employment to help fund their time in education and the soaring cost of living. There is then the problem facing people looking for full time permanent employment.

“Not enough has been done to help create jobs in Fermanagh and too many people have been forced to emigrate out of the county and out of the country in search of employment. We are educating our young people for emigration and that is simply not good enough.

“We are seeking the election of a strong Sinn Fein team to prioritise investment in job creation schemes, particularly in rural areas, to allow our young people to reach their full potential and build a life and live at home.”

Standing in Erne North, DUP candidate James Fleming said that there is ‘an underlying issue among the young people in Erne North in regards to schooling’.

“The main issues surround the Portora and Collegiate schools, with many in opposition to a merger, citing a loss of identity and a lowering of standards should the two schools become one.

“The views expressed were not only from current students, but those young people who having left school, could look back on the institutions which had forged their thinking and had prepared them for their entry into adulthood.

“It is a hot topic at the moment, and ties in with the long awaited Devenish College build.”

He also said that he has received a healthy attitude from young people towards voting.

“I was pleased to see young people who are interested in the electoral process and are keen to use that process to secure a prosperous future. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many young people excited about an election, giving their approval of the many new candidates, and suggesting they will be voting with a hope of seeing change as the council system is translated to the new super council.”

100 jobs to be saved in concrete business move

May 17, 2014 1:00 pm
Raymond Acheson

Raymond Acheson

FIVEMILETOWN has been spared a further jobs blow with news that the holding company behind concrete business Acheson & Glover is to be bought out of administration.

Around 100 jobs look to have been saved as a result of this announcement, which comes not long after news that 50 jobs were to go at Fivemiletown Creamery.

A spokesman for Acheson & Glover Group Limited, a non-trading Holding Company that owns Acheson & Glover Limited and Acheson & Glover Precast Limited, confirmed it had been placed into administration on May 2.

He also confirmed joint administrators from BDO were in the process of completing the sale of trading subsidiaries to a new company owned by Raymond Acheson who has headed the business for more than 30 years and this would enable the trading businesses to continue as normal ‘without any impact on staff, suppliers or customers’.
In total the group employs 380 staff in total.

Acheson & Glover Precast Limited manufactures and supplies a range of concrete products for use in construction projects across the UK and Ireland. It employs 180 staff and has a turnover of around £16m.

Acheson & Glover Limited manufactures and sells a range of paving, walling and kerbing products to the commercial and consumer markets throughout the UK and Ireland. Its popular Outside Room concept has seen a large rise in consumer sales at a time when homeowners have been opting to improve their homes rather than move. It employs around 200 staff and has a turnover in excess of £16m.

In April, fears over jobs in Fivemiletown heightened when it was announced that Fivemiletown Creamery was for sale.

The creamery employs 50 people, and has been sold to Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.

It is expected to stay open until July when it is expected the creamery will finally close.

Sinn Fein Councillor Sheamus Green was pleased that the jobs were to be retained at Acheson & Glover, especially in light of what has happened at Fivemiletown Creamery.

“It’s a fairly big employer and it would have been a terrible blow to the locality if it had have went as well.

“It’s brilliant to see that it is being taken over and jobs are being secured locally.

“People are delighted especially after the troubles that there have been with the creamery.”

Acheson &  Glover has locations at Dungannon, Ballygawley, Fivemiletown, Toome, Omagh, Carryduff, Belcoo, Newry and Magherafelt.

Questions being asked about supposed relocation of Forestry Service jobs

May 16, 2014 5:00 pm

Paul Robinson

 

“WHAT about the Forest Service jobs, are they coming or not?”. That was the question asked by DUP councillor Paul Robinson at last week’s meeting of Fermanagh District Council. Back in May 2012 it was announced that the headquarters for the Forest Service was to be relocated to County Fermanagh at a boost of 100 jobs. Two years on there has yet to be any decentralisation and the figure for jobs has decreased significantly with the number now standing at 60.

Council chairman Alex Baird stated his belief that the decentralisation was still on the table, but acknowledged there has been little movement on the issue.

“I still believe it is going to happen, we could do with those jobs in Fermanagh due to the closure of the DVA office .”

Local UUP councillor Rosemary Barton expressed her disappointment with the progress on the proposed jobs and queried just how many would come to the county.

“Initially 100 jobs were to come, but the longer this drags on the less and less jobs are being transferred to the county.

“We should try and give government a bit of a shove instead of hanging around.”

Acting chief executive Robert Gibson stated he would make enquiries to establish how many Forest Service jobs would be coming to Fermanagh and to secure a timetable for when the transfer would be taking place.”

At the same meeting SDLP councillor Frank Britton asked that a meeting be arranged with a representative from Crown buildings, the location of the local DVA office,set to close before the end of the year at a cost of six jobs.

“I invite representatives from Crown buildings and the social security agency to a meeting in June, I would like to hear what’s happening. I would ask someone from management to come along and clarify the position.”

Sinn Fein councillor Thomas O’Reilly asked that councillors look at the bigger picture and highlighted the opportunity that exists at the old Erne Hospital site for a ‘one stop shop’ for a number of different agencies. He called on the council to do ‘something unique’ or ‘continue to haemorrhage jobs out of the county’.

“We need to encourage, these other offices to move into that site.”

He added: “Once they’re gone, there is very little opportunity to get them back.”

It was agreed that a meeting would be arranged between representatives from the council and the Crown buildings.

Questions being asked about supposed relocation of Forestry Service jobs

May 13, 2014 5:28 pm
Paul Robinson

QUESTIONS… Paul Robinson

“WHAT about the Forest Service jobs, are they coming or not?”

That was the question asked by DUP councillor Paul Robinson at last week’s meeting of Fermanagh District Council. Back in May 2012 it was announced that the headquarters for the Forest Service was to be relocated to County Fermanagh at a boost of 100 jobs.

Two years on there has yet to be any decentralisation and the figure for jobs has decreased significantly with the number now standing at 60.

Council chairman Alex Baird stated his belief that the decentralisation was still on the table, but acknowledged there has been little movement on the issue.

“I still believe it is going to happen, we could do with those jobs in Fermanagh due to the closure of the DVA office .”

Local UUP councillor Rosemary Barton expressed her disappointment with the progress on the proposed jobs and queried just how many would come to the county.

“Initially 100 jobs were to come, but the longer this drags on the less and less jobs are being transferred to the county.

“We should try and give government a bit of a shove instead of hanging around.”

Acting chief executive Robert Gibson stated he would make enquiries to establish how many Forest Service jobs would be coming to Fermanagh and to secure a timetable for when the transfer would be taking place.”

At the same meeting SDLP councillor Frank Britton asked that a meeting be arranged with a representative from Crown buildings, the location of the local DVA office,set to close before the end of the year at a cost of six jobs.

“I invite representatives from Crown buildings and the social security agency to a meeting in June, I would like to hear what’s happening. I would ask someone from management to come along and clarify the position.”

Sinn Fein councillor Thomas O’Reilly asked that councillors look at the bigger picture and highlighted the opportunity that exists at the old Erne Hospital site for a ‘one stop shop’ for a number of different agencies. He called on the council to do ‘something unique’ or ‘continue to haemorrhage jobs out of the county’.

“We need to encourage, these other offices to move into that site.”

He added: “Once they’re gone, there is very little opportunity to get them back.”

It was agreed that a meeting would be arranged between representatives from the council and the Crown buildings.

Foster seeks ‘urgent meeting’ after loss of 50 jobs as creamery closes

April 9, 2014 9:20 pm
Arlene Foster

DOOMED MEETING… Minister Arlene Foster has called for an urgent meeting

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has revealed that her department has been in talks with the owners of Fivemiletown Creamery over the past two years as their financial troubles deepened.

And as news broke that the plant is to close with the loss of fifty jobs the Roslea-born Minister said she was seeking urgent talks with the the Glabia Ingredidents Ireland, the group which will now take onr Fivemiletown’s suppliers.

The die was cast at a meeting last week of shareholders to consider proposals put to them by the new owners, Glanbia.

In a statement issued afterwards, they said they voted overwhelmingly (83%) in favour of forming a long-term relationship with Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GIIL).

It went on: “The agreement, which is subject to the signing of legal documents, involves suppliers of Fivemiletown Creamery entering into a long-term milk supply agreement with GIIL.

“The Fivemiletown milk pool of 25m litres/annum will be supplied to GIIL, and Fivemiletown suppliers will receive an advisory service from GIIL.

“As part of the agreement, GIIL will acquire the Fivemiletown cheese brands, except for Boilie goat’s cheese which will remain with Fivemiletown.”

Local MLA Maurice Morrow articulated many of the vews of employees, suppliers, customers and locals.

He went on: “I am deeply saddened at this turn of events. The 50 loyal employees include a number of master-cheese makers who have created unique products which put Fivemiletown Creamery on a strong trading footing.”

Mr Morrow said the closure, and that of Augher Creamery was a significant double hit on a rural community.

The news also came as a shock to Fivemiletown Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

It is due to meet on Tuesday of next week, 15th April in the Valley Hotel (at 8pm) to discuss the closure.

Michael Callaghan, the chamber’s project coordinator, said he did not know, at this stage, what that meeting would achieve.

“I don’t know what decision they will come to, but it’s important that we meet and show solidarity with the employees.”

Meanwhile, the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, revealed that Invest Northern Ireland had maintained regular contact with Fivemiletown Creamery over the past two years following trading difficulties.

She commented: “Together with Invest Northern Ireland, I am now seeking an urgent meeting with GIIL to discuss securing the best possible outcome.”

‘Fivemiletown’ will retain ownership of the cheese manufacturing site, and GIIL will form an alliance with them in relation to its retail store, Ballylurgan Hardware. It is currently profitable.

The management and board of ‘Fivemiletown’ will now enter into consultations with the employees regarding the future of the cheese factory.

The board of directors, in a statement, said they regretted the loss of jobs.”

The creamery has existed on the current site for the past 116 years.

Fears for 50 jobs as Fivemiletown creamery enters negotiations with Kilkenny firm

March 31, 2014 12:19 pm

Fivemiletown-cheese-460x305

ONE of Ireland’s leading dairy companies has confirmed that it is in negotiations to form what it describes as a “long-term relationship” with Fivemiletown Creamery.

The Kilkenny-based Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL) has said that both it and Fivemiletown shareholders “see considerable value” in establishing a long-term arrangement between them.

A statement from the company came as concerns were raised about the future of 50 jobs at the plant if Glanbia become involved. Further talks are set to take place this week. Farmers who are suppliers of the Fivemiletown and Brookeborough Diary Co-operative met recently in the Valley Hotel to discuss concerns over the future of creamery. Staff were also called to a meeting to update them on the developments.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Glanbia told our sister paper, TyroneHerald, that an agreement between the companies would result in Fivemiletown entering into consultations with its employees regarding the future of its cheese facility.

“Fivemiletown will also enter into a long-term milk supply agreement with GIIL, who will perform milk collection and testing on behalf of Fivemiletown as well as providing an advisory service to its suppliers.

“As part of the transaction, GIIL will have an exclusive licence over the retail cheese brands except for Boilie which will remain with Fivemiletown.

“Fivemiletown’s successful hardware and agricultural inputs business will develop an alliance with Glanbia PLC’s Agribusiness division.

“This strategic alliance is subject to the approval of Fivemiletown shareholders and the board of GIIL. Both parties see considerable value in establishing a long-term, mutually beneficial alliance.”

‘DIFFICULT TRADING CONDITIONS’

For its part, Fivemiletown Creamery said that they had experienced difficult trading conditions, particularly in its core cheddar cheese business.

A spokesperson explained, “This has significantly impacted on the financial viability of the business.

“The board of Fivemiletown is currently in discussion with its shareholders and staff.”

The issue has also been highlighted by SDLP West Tyrone MLA, Joe Byrne. He said any loss of Fivemiletown Creamery would be a “huge loss” to the area.

“I can only hope that any new owners would reflect on the incredible products that the creamery produces and the very positive contribution to the local economy and think twice about any plans to close the creamery.

‘Jobs boost from fracking could jump-start the economy’

February 8, 2014 8:00 pm
fracking

According to Shale Gas Europe fracking is safe for human health and for the environment

‘Fracking is safe for the environment and safe for our health’ – That’s the view of the European Resource Centre for fracking, Shale Gas Europe.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald spokesman Marcus Pepperell outlined the benefits of fracking to the people of Fermanagh and stated that it is not threat it is being perceived as.

Opponents of fracking say it is not safe and will pollute the water supply in the county? Is this true?

No it is not true. Shale gas exploration is safe for human health and for the environment.  Risks exist with all energy sources but these will be managed, controlled and carefully monitored.

The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering published a joint report in June 2012 which concluded that the health, safety and environmental risks of shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) can be managed effectively.

In January 2014, The UK’s Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management also published their independent report on shale gas and water.

This report states that “contamination of aquifers from mobilisation of solutes and methane is unlikely where shale plays exist at depth in the UK.

While hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 60 years, technology has evolved significantly in the last twenty years and there have been no confirmed instances of direct contamination from this process.
This is because the fracturing takes place hundreds of meters below the water table.

Is there enough evidence to support claims that the environment here will suffer due to fracking?

There is currently a moratorium in place in Northern Ireland, voted through by the Assembly in December 2011.
If this should be lifted then the impact on any landscape where shale gas is evident will be minimal as there are already a host of regulations in place to manage the exploration and drilling of shale gas in the UK.

The Government’s full regulatory framework seeks to deliver best practice, promoting the safe, responsible and environmentally sound recovery of the UK’s unconventional reserves of gas and oil.

Could we be at risk from earthquakes due to drilling affecting fault lines?

While hydraulic fracturing can be responsible for seismic activity, the Royal Society points out that ‘seismic risks are low… Seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing is likely to be of smaller magnitude than the UK’s largest natural seismic events and those induced by coal mining.’

Durham University has recorded three associated earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing globally, from hundreds of thousands of jobs that have already been undertaken world-wide.

Even so, as a mitigation method, the UK has a ‘traffic light’ system which will monitor seismic activity, feeding back information in real-time during hydraulic fracturing; this data will allow drilling companies to adjust the injection volume and rate during the fracturing procedure to prevent noticeable seismic activity.

What tangible benefits will fracking bring to Fermanagh if implemented?

The benefits could be financial, economic, and environmental. Financially,  2013 Institute of Directors study predicts that, should current exploration prove to be successful, investment in unconventional gas in the UK alone could peak at £3.7 billion a year.

On the economic benefits, the EU is dependent upon 67% of its natural gas (2011) and this is expected to rise.
There are estimates about the likely employment benefits that could be associated with a domestic shale gas industry. The IoD report stated that it could support 74,000 jobs in the UK.

In October 2013, Pöyry, a consultancy and engineering company, stated that the figure for total jobs in the UK could reach 100,000.

There could also be environmental benefits: the European Union has also recognised that shale gas could be a possible bridging fuel as a substitute for more polluting fossil fuels, helping to contribute to its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In short why is Fracking good for Fermanagh?

Energy matters. It sustains and maintains our communities, our industries, our homes, schools and hospitals.
The UK and Northern Ireland governments have recognised that shale gas could represent a huge economic opportunity and as demand for more affordable, cleaner energy continues to drive the need for more supply, shale gas may provide the potential means to meet this ever growing energy requirement in a commercially viable and environmentally responsible way.

Therefore, any risk must be managed with the development and implementation of an effective and transparent regulation and enforcement process.