Meath County Council Chairperson Cllr Tommy Reilly has accused management of Boliden Tara Mines of playing politics and has called on the company to show its loyal staff some respect.

At last Wednesday’s Navan Municipal District meeting, held in Bohermeen Community Centre, Cllr Reilly requested that Meath County Council provide an update on any discussions they have had in relation to the reopening of Boliden Tara Mines.

In response the council said that it is maintaining open communications with the management of Tara Mines and reiterated their commitment to supporting them, where possible, to ensure that the reopening happens as soon as possible..

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Reilly said that the playing of politics by the Swedish mining giant is wreaking havoc on the mental and physical health of local families.

“Tara Mines is playing politics with the lives of local families and these games are effecting the mental and physical health of families, as well as having huge financial implications. It is simply not right,” insisted Cllr Reilly.

Earlier this week SIPTU representatives also labeled comments from Boliden as ‘poor taste’ when they speculated a dire future for the mine, while also reporting almost half a billion in profit for the group.

Cllr Reilly insists his concerns are firmly for the hard working families effected by the closure and he wants to see Meath County Council engage with management in order to see the facility return to a fully operational state.

“Some families are suffering so badly at the moment and I appeal to Meath County Council to engage with management in Boliden Tara Mines immediately. The reality is that almost 2,000 people are effected including mines’ staff and subsidiaries. Of course, this too has a detrimental effect on business in Navan, in County Meath and in surrounding counties,” added Cllr Reilly.

Tara Mines is the largest zine mine in Europe and was acquired by Boliden in 2004 and more than 600 workers were, and currently still are, affected by the decision to place the mine in care and maintenance mode last year. The mines’ workforce have given a huge service since mining began in 1977 and Cllr Reilly is demanding respect for that workforce as negotiations on the re-opening remain ongoing.

“Tara Mines has been very good to the people of Navan and its hinterland but so too have the workforce of the mines. They have given immense service over the last 40 to 50 years, which has accumulated in billions for the shareholders,” he insisted.