Spectra hit by speed camera delay
Jason Shanahan of Shanahan's Tralee, Garda Martin Tierney, Kerry Co Co Road Safety Education Officer Maria O'Regan and Garda Emma Mullane at Shanahans, Tralee, for the launch of a joint initiative between the council and gardaí that aims to combat the...
By DÓNAL NOLAN AND
Wednesday June 24 2009
SIMON BROUDER SPECTRA Group's fortunes would receive a massive boost if the Government finalised the long-promised contract for the rolling out of speed cameras across the State.
North Kerry Fine Gael TD Jimmy Deenihan said this week it was vital for the company for the contract to be completed now, speaking in the week in which the Spectra Retail division was placed in liquidation.
Part of the consortium named as the preferred tender last summer, Spectra ploughed considerable resources into their preparations for the bid. Despite the government indicating the cameras would be in place by the end of last year, nothing has happened as yet.
Speaking in the Dáil as part of a larger debate about road safety in the State, Deputy Deenihan called on the Minister for Transport to complete the contract as soon as possible.
"This project will create 100 jobs throughout Ireland, with 40 in Listowel, my home town. It will create jobs in Donegal and along the west coast. These are employment blackspots and need every job that can be provided, but the Government has abandoned them.
"Most damning of all is that while speed cameras are likely to be a revenue-neutral initiative, the cost in lives saved could never be measured," he said.
In response to Deputy Deenihan's calls, Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children John Moloney indicated the Government is still intent on providing the cameras.
"This would be a major boost for Spectra and Listowel, with 40 jobs created in North Kerry alone," Deputy Deenihan told The Kerryman afterwards.
At a creditors' meeting in Tralee last Wednesday a liquidator was appointed to Spectra Retail.
At the meeting, management of Spectra Group said the winding down of Spectra's retail division has already seen the closure of most of its outlets over the past two years, Gerard Murphy was appointed Liquidator for the retail division of the group.
Spectra has blamed the general economic downturn for the decision to formally wind up the division of the company. The increase in digital photography and home processing is also likely to have had a significant impact on the companies high street business.
The liquidation has no bearing on other branches of Spectra Group including its photo processing service, based at two plants in Listowel and Belfast, or its nationwide photo distribution service.
Spectra Group was founded in Listowel 1970 by local entrepreneur Xavier McAuliffe and quickly grew to become the largest player in Ireland's photography market.
The company has some 35 outlets nationwide but the corporate headquarters remains in Listowel.
- DÓNAL NOLAN AND