Sinn Fein Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh believes there is potential in investment in the western region in businesses as diverse as high quality broadband and seaweed cutting. O’Clochartaigh spoke to irishsmokefill after a Sinn Fein meeting in Athlone on the party’s alternative budget.
“I have been doing a lot of work in the last couple of months on seaweeding, and we have Arramara, a seaweed cutting factory in Connemara, which was in state ownership for many years, and it was handed over to Udarus na Gaeltachta about 5 years ago, but it had never been developed to its full potential,” said Senator O’Clochartaigh, after the meeting this week. “A number of different companies are looking at it at the moment, and the seawood cutters are the type of guys who have worked on building sites, and were plasterers and plumbers, and many of those don’t have regular employment at the moment.”
He also said there is a potential around new media, and the Connemara politician commented that the mobile phone coverage in his area is “patchy,” and while there was a rural broadband scheme there he claimed it’s not delivering.
“Cultural tourism would also be a major thing that needs to be developed, but we really need to look at the likes of being able to cut seaweed in sustainable ways and to develop other forms of environmental activities, like setting up farming co-ops,” said Senator O’Clochartaigh.