EU to give final approval to €23-million Dell aid fund

25 Nov 2009

The European Commission is expected to give final approval today to a €23-million fund for the 1,900 Dell workers in Limerick who are due to be made redundant later this year.

The fund is being provided under the auspices of the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) and is aimed at assisting redundant workers to be retrained, as well as workers from ancillary enterprises across the mid-west that will also be affected by the closure of the Dell plant in Raheen, Co Limerick.

Earlier this year, the long-anticipated closure of Dell’s factory in Limerick was confirmed after spiralling costs in the Irish economy made its future untenable. The factory is being moved to a new location in southern Poland.

A warning

However, Labour MEP Alan Kelly yesterday warned that money from the fund is in danger of being lost.

Kelly said despite there being now only 18 months left in which to spend the money, as yet there is no plan or structure for how it should be spent and the committee to administer the fund has not been fully established.

“The clock is seriously ticking. Spending €23 million in that space of time and under this criteria will be a massive challenge,” Kelly said.

“The various departmental stakeholders, FAS, Enterprise Ireland, the third-level colleges are only getting together now. They are good people who deserve the chance to do their job,” he added.

Seeking action now

He urged the Tánaiste Mary Coughlan TD to act now to administer the fund, saying unless that happened he could see the Government “giving some of the money back to Europe”.

Kelly said he and representatives of the Dell Workers had held two meetings with the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the stakeholders, but said there is “an absence of urgency in their thinking”.

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