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Killala in 2015

Updated Wednesday 6th April 2016

The legacies of Asahi in Killala in 2015.

The arrival or departure of a large-scale employer like Asahi has obvious economic impacts but also combines with social and cultural aspects to affect the overall uniqueness of an area. One impact identified by Justin Sammon in this audio clip was that of the movement of people back to County Mayo and of the importance of a sense of place, ‘people I suppose like to rear children where they were reared themselves’.

 

Creative commons image Icon Jenny Meegan for Justin Salmon photo under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license Philip O'Sullivan chats to Justin Sammon

Transcript: Asahi and population change in County Mayo

PHILIP O’SULLIVAN

You mentioned then immigration, how at the time when Asahi came in the late 70s and through the 80s it sort of halted emigration, flight.

JUSTIN SAMMON

It was the people who came back from England to work in those places

PHILIP O’SULLIVAN

They did?

JUSTIN SAMMON

Oh yes. This was a general effect of multi-nationals in the 70s and 80s, you would see it in schools, there were a lot of accents, teachers and inspectors coming to the West of Ireland, noticed families that had returned from places like Germany, America, England. So rural Ireland started to get re-populated and there were new skill sets I suppose and people started to go to school longer too because there was a wage coming into houses so they didn’t have to emigrate.

PHILIP O’SULLIVAN

To leave school at 16 or 18, they could afford to stay on at school?

JUSTIN SAMMON

Because their parents were employed, a cash economy developed.

PHILIP O’SULLIVAN

That is interesting. So the population changed both within Mayo, County Mayo, a movement, concentration, around that area to employment, lots of people moving back

JUSTIN SAMMON

People do move back very quickly, you see that even if there is any stir now people will come back.

PHILIP O’SULLIVAN

If there is work there.

JUSTIN SAMMON

Because there is the concept of geographers of a sense of place and how that links to your view of the world. People I suppose like to rear children where they were reared themselves.  I don’t know does that still obtain but I suspect it’s true.

 

One of the tangible legacies of Asahi was the Killala Community Centre which it helped to build. Asahi, in a gesture of goodwill at the time of closure, contributed £200,000 towards job creation projects in North Mayo and also contributed to the Killala Community Council project at the community centre.

 

Now move on to Killala 2015: a new economic layer.

 

See all the articles in this series

See all the series in the Change in the West of Ireland collection

This article is part of a collection on the 'Uniqueness, Interdependence, Uneven Development and Change in the West of Ireland'. To find out more about the collection, a good place to start is the introduction, Change in the West of Ireland. 

 

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