Few jobs and no social dividend as bypass goes to Portugues company

By David tucker

Published 30/07/2016 | 00:00

All smiles at the sod turning for the Enniscorthy bypass last year : Ministers Brendan Howlin, Paschal Donohoe and Paul Kehoe.
All smiles at the sod turning for the Enniscorthy bypass last year : Ministers Brendan Howlin, Paschal Donohoe and Paul Kehoe.

THEre will be no social dividend for Enniscorthy town and few local jobs created as a result of the sub-contracting of the bulk of the multi-million euro Enniscorthy Bypass project to a Portuguese company, according to Deputy James Browne.

'What they are effectively doing is bringing over the workforce, the plant and the machinery, and building accommodation on the site,' said the Deputy who, with fellow FF Deputy Robert Troy, has raised the issue at a national level with Minister Shane Ross.

'My main concern is that there is no social dividend for Wexford and Enniscorthy or local employment at what is one of the biggest contracts in Europe, for all the groundworks, which is most of it,' said Deputy Browne, 'we had been told that 400 jobs would be created locally and I will be asking the minister for transport where they are?'

He said that while the awarding of the contract to a Portuguese company Ferpi SA, which last month set up an Irish-registered company Gorey Earthworks, was in line with EU laws on open markets between member states, there had to be a level playing field in terms of wages and conditions which had to be in accordance with Irish legislation.

Deputy Browne said that additionally there should be an element of social dividend to the locality where the work was to be carried out, but this did not appear to be the case with the Enniscorthy Bypass.

'Minister Ross says he is going to launch an immediate investigation into the awarding of the contract and the conditions of these employees,' said Deputy Browne, who is hoping to bring legislation to the Dail later in the year setting in law the provision of social dividend covering local projects carried out by foreign companies.

The M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy PPP Scheme is approximately 41Km in length incorporating a new 27Km motorway and tie-in to the east of Enniscorthy, an 8Km single carriageway bypass to the west of the town, a 4Km dual carriageway section linking the N30 and N80 that crosses the River Slaney, and road improvements.

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