LIMERICK Regeneration boss Brendan Kenny has expressed confidence that out-of-work locals will gain employment on the housing development that is underway at Cliona Park, Moyross.
Cllr Tom Shortt this week said told Limerick City Council that of the 20 builders employed on the scheme to date, “not one is a Moyross man”.
Local resident Tommy Daly said it had been made clear in both the Fitzgerald Report and the masterplan that residents of regeneration estates could expect a jobs dividend once construction started.
Around 250 people had filled in an application form and left it at the local employment office in Moyross but not one had been given a job interview, Mr Daly said.
He insisted that EU regulations were on the side of Moyross residents who contend locals should be given preference when workers are being taken on. And he has called on the agency to build clauses into contracts that would oblige builders to hire locally for the upcoming Regeneration housing projects at Carew Park and Edward Street.
Mr Kenny replied that while there was a case within the law for hiring the long-term unemployed, to discriminate in favour of a geographic area could be found contrary to EU law.But he added that the Cliona Park contractors, Clancy Construction, were “absolutely committed” to taking on locals as the job progresses over the next 15 months. Up to 70 could be on site at the peak of the construction phase.
“To a large extent we use moral persuasion or influence with them. We do have a very good relationship with the contractors and have been getting good co-operation from them. Of course we understand the frustration in the community but we are confident that the contractor will do what he has promised to do,” Mr Kenny said.
There had been a delay in getting local application forms to the builder, Mr Kenny said, but that process was now in train.
*For a full version of this story see the Limerick Leader weekend edition