Sunday 19 November 2017

Scallan challenges Wallace on his record

By Esther Hayden

Peter Scallan.
Peter Scallan.
Deputy Mick Wallace.

Local businessman Peter Scallan, CEO of Celtic Linen, has hit out at Mick Wallace in the run up to the general election.

Deputy Wallace's poster asking why there is 22 per cent unemployment in Wexford vexed Mr. Scallan because he said he has seen no evidence that Deputy Wallace has worked to help ease unemployment in the county. In a post on his personal Facebook page, which has been shared over 600 times, Mr Scallan said there are several reasons why Wexford's unemployment rate is high but said that Deputy Wallace didn't work to address these issues while in the Dail.

'Wexford has a lower educational attainment than almost anywhere else in Ireland. We have a lack of post primary places. We have limited third level activity. We have poor road access - queues getting into the county at New Ross, congestion at Enniscorthy with the N11 not coping with demand. Rosslare Europort has problems competing with Dublin Port due to over centralisation of our economy within the M50, and the N25 and N11 not being adequate.

'Our industry does not have access to clean, cheap energy in the form of Natural Gas unlike most other counties. IDA Ireland rarely visits Wexford, we have the most populous county in the Southeast and yet an average of less than five visits by IDA annually to sell Wexford to potential foreign direct investors

'During the boom our county had a very high dependence on construction for employment, many commuting up the N11 to Dublin, yet unsustainable practices by building companies and developers left workers and subcontractors high and dry, unpaid and without suitable skills and training when the crash came.

'Many of the these issues are well on the way to being resolved, thanks to the other TDs in the county,' said Mr Scallan speaking to this newspaper.

However he said Deputy Wallace has 'indulged' himself in 'pet projects of penalty points, Shannon Airport, Nama and Siteserve, yet none of these issues will put dinner on the table of a Wexford family. None of these issues will facilitate creation of jobs in Wexford.

'We haven't seen any evidence of him doing anything to help ease unemployment in Wexford, yet he is now pitching himself as being concerned about unemployment issues. We have to create an environment to create jobs and that's things like the New Ross and Enniscorthy bypasses and clean energy.

'There's a lot of people, the two outgoing Government TDs, council officials, councillors and other stakeholders, working behind the scenes and I'm challenging Mick Wallace to say what he has done to help solve the problems which are leading to high unemployment in Wexford.

'A sitting TD, whether in Government or not, can use influence to make things happen.'

Mr Scallan said that the poster he saw about the 22 per cent unemployment was situated 25 metres from the new gas line. He said 'that gas pipe protects at least 1,000 jobs in Wexford and will enable many more. It was made happen, against the odds, by a large group of people in all sectors working together.'

However he said that a look at Deputy Wallace's Dail record shows he spoke more about gas in North Dublin that he did about gas coming to Wexford.

Wexford People

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