Kilkenny thus retains its status as the most singular county in Ireland, for it is the only county that does not have a Tesco store.
Obviously this singularity, this aesthetic avoidance of sameness and dullness, is not attractive to Kilkenny County Council, however, who had already granted the supermarket behemoth planning permission. Cllr. Tom Maher told The Irish Times that he was “extremely disappointed”, and regretted that the proposed 120 permanent jobs, and 60 temporary construction jobs, would not now happen.
What planet is Cllr. Maher living on? When supermarkets open, they displace and void 30 jobs for every 20 jobs they create. The 120 jobs in Tesco Callan would have seen 150 local jobs melt away. The impact of supermarket openings on local economies is well known, or at least is well known to everyone except members of Kilkenny County Council
Cllr Matt Doran went even further than Cllr. Maher, however, as he was both “absolutely disgusted and hugely disappointed” at the decision. “Callan needs a store like Tesco in order to survive”, he said.
Callan needs better councillors if it is to survive.
So, congrats to the brave An Bord Pleanala, and remember: when it comes to refusing planning permission to dull, bullying, £3 billion-profits-per-year behemoths, then every little helps.