Macroom business people are angry about the inadequate telephone system in the area.
The new telephone exchange in Macroom, County Cork is built but does not have any equipment, so Macroom remains the last major town in mid west Cork without an automatic service
Local business people are angry. Gerard Murnane, managing director of Alida Systems Limited explains the difficulties in trying to contact Macroom by telephone when the call has to go through an operator in Dublin.
Business people are not prepared to put up with that hassle.
Gerard Murnane calculates that his export-orientated firm had lost business amounting to £5,000 per month net labour because of the poor telephone system.
Business people held a protest meeting about the inadequate telephone system and learned that a similar meeting was held in 1979. Then the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (P&T) promised that Macroom would be on an automatic exchange by 1981. It has since transpired that this will not happen until 1984 and business people are not happy.
Sten Bjorsell of the Ship Company Limited says that since 1979 all the P&T have done is erect buildings and put down coaxial cables. However the Department says that when Macroom finally goes automatic in the second part of 1984, it will have the most up to date digital telephone system.
When the Macroom local telephone exchange goes automatic about 50 jobs will be lost. The staff will be entitled to compensation or transfer to other exchanges. Half of the staff are from the Macroon area, so a lot of disruption is in store for them but Gerard Murnane stresses it has been agreed that,
Nobody will in fact be put out on the street without a job.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 June 1983. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.