27 August 2009 Edition

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Ferris claims sugar industry sacrificed for speculators

Martin Ferris

Martin Ferris

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD has claimed that the current concerns regarding Liam Carroll’s 30% stake in Greencore prove that the sugar industry was sacrificed in the interests of property speculators. Carroll bought the shares with a view to acquiring the substantial land assets belonging to the company once it set about closing the remaining sugar factories at Carlow and Mallow.
Deputy Ferris said: “What I said in 2006 regarding the closure of the sugar factories has been vindicated. I said then that the company was being allowed to destroy one of the most successful indigenous industries in the state and that it was being seized by speculators like Mr. Carroll intent on asset stripping the company. And of course the owners were given a massive EU compensation package compared to the paltry pay out to farmers and former workers.
“I also presented a detailed proposal to transform the former sugar processing facility into a plant for processing sugar beet for use as bio fuel but of course the company was not interested as it hoped to cash in on the then property boom. It is ironic therefore that the company now finds itself under pressure because of the failed gambles of Mr. Carroll. It is a sad commentary on the wealthy elite in this state that they have wrought so much damage from unproductive speculation having refused to invest in indigenous industry here. Greencore could serve as a metaphor for all that is wrong with the golden circle.”

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