Limerick’s status as a national unemployment black spot is an indictment of the failed social and economic policies of the current government and senior Ministers, the Social Democrat’s Limerick representative Sarah Jane Hennelly said today.

Ms Hennelly was commenting on Census figures published this week which show that eight of the top ten ‘unemployment black spots’ in the country were in Limerick City and County.

The average unemployment rate in 18 electoral districts in Limerick City and County was 35.7 per cent. This compares with a national unemployment rate of around 9 per cent when the Census was taken in April 2016.

Ms Hennelly, who is the party’s national chairperson, said:

“These figures are an indictment of the failed policies of the current government which has had a senior Minister from Limerick. Some of the most powerful national politicians in the country are from this city and ought to be representing its best interests as well as the interests of the country, at the cabinet table.

“This week has seen more good-news stories about Limerick than usual in the papers – high foreign direct investment, over 2,000 jobs created, Limerick now the poster child of the recovery. Some of us might feel this upturn, but definitely not all of us. And this isn’t new to Limerick – we have ongoing persistent issues with unemployment. But results like this tell a different story. Any decent politician with the best interests of the city would tackle this.”

Ms Hennelly added: “Since the introduction of the austerity programme, our level of capital investment (investment in infrastructure) has decreased significantly. Since this so-called up-turn, we have seen no real increase in investment, we are way behind when compared to other EU countries. Long-term and generational unemployment, coupled with poor planning in social housing, is partly down to why we’re in this situation.

“There are plenty of solutions to this problem, but the core principle is this – if we invest in our country, in health, in education, in housing, in childcare and in care for the elderly, we all benefit, and it gives us all the same chance at life.”


16 June 2017


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