Former Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen has told the Dáil that "not one job" has been created in the midlands by the Government's Just Transition process, 12 months after it was launched.

Speaking as part of a contribution to tonight's Climate Change Action Bill, Deputy Cowen claimed only €166,000 had been drawn down for employment projects out of a budget of €28m in Eamon Ryan’s Just Transition Fund, approved in principle last December.

Mr Cowen says he has written to the Taoiseach to highlight the "ridiculously slow and poorly administered" delivery of Just Transition to date.

He said the lack of progress to date is a far cry from what was expected in Offaly, Longford, Laois, Kildare, Westmeath, Roscommon or East Galway.

The Government established the Just Transition Fund after the closure of the two midlands power stations in November 2019.

Former Congress of Trade Union leader Kieran Mulvey was appointed the commissioner responsible for its coordination in a bid to provide replacement employment for Bord na Móna and ESB workers who lost their jobs as part of a move to decarbonisation .

The commissioner has already been highly critical of the lack of urgency in supporting some of the key proposals in his interim report & recommendations for future employment projects last year .

Over 100 community groups and businesses in the midlands applied for funding for job creation projects before the deadline in July 2020.