The President of Ennis Chamber insists that all stakeholders will fight to the bitter end to ensure the region’s voice is heard at Government level.
It comes amid concern about a lack of Ministerial representation for Clare in the new Government at a time of unprecedented health and economic crises.
The Central Bank has warned that Ireland’s unemployment rate may not return to pre-COVID levels until 2024.
While some politicians, who were passed over for Ministerial appointments, have voiced frustrations this week, representative groups in areas that have missed out have also been expressing concern.
Here in the MidWest, those who are fighting for balanced regional development, and increased investment in the West, will be lobbying a government with no Minister West of the Shannon.
Nonetheless, President of Ennis Chamber Allen Flynn has insisted that won’t deter them in the fight for Clare and the MidWest.
With many businesses being hit with significant losses over recent months, he says every effort has to be made to ensure supports are in place to help firms survive.
The scale of the challenge facing companies, meanwhile, has been laid bare by the latest quarterly economic report from the Central Bank, which warns that Ireland’s unemployment rate may not return to pre-COVID levels for another four years, in the worst-case scenario.
Just over 1 million people, or 22.5 per cent of the population in Ireland are now out of work and that expected to fall to 14.5 per cent by the end of the year, if lockdown measures continue to be unwound on a phased basis.
The report also finds that in percentage terms, Clare’s Live Register Figure has had the biggest increase of any country; it’s grown by over 30% since February and currently stands at 5,720.
A further 10,861 are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Support Payment.
The Central Bank’s Director of Economics and Statistics Mark Cassidy says it could be 4 years before unemployment returns to levels seen before the pandemic: