Fears for future of FÁS services in Monaghan

13 May 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan Town Council at a specially convened meeting on Tuesday decided to contact Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton in a bid to banish the local uncertainty that has arisen around the future provision of FÁS services in the town for the unemployed.
Cathaoirleach Robbie Gallagher convened the emergency Council session after being contacted by the staff of the Monaghan FÁS office, who stated that they had been notified of the possible closure of the facility “on a temporary basis” during the summer months.
Fine Gael councillor Tommy Hagan told the meeting that Cavan/Monaghan TD Sean Conlan had received an assurance that the Monaghan office was not to be closed.
This did not entirely allay the concerns of the members, however, some of whom compared the FÁS situation to the “temporary closures” of services at wards at Monaghan General Hospital which had led in time to services being permanently removed.
The Cathaoirleach told the members at the outset that the reason he called the meeting was that he was contacted on Friday by employees of the FÁS office in the town, who informed him that they had been told by two managers from the regional office in Dundalk that FÁS was contemplating closing the Monaghan facility on a temporary basis.
“Needless to say, the staff were very concerned and annoyed about this,” Colr Gallagher stated. Apparently there were no conversations or discussions with any member of the local staff about the proposed closure. It came as “a bolt out of the blue” to them.
The Cathaoirleach noted that the FÁS office opened in Monaghan in 1988 and provided a service not only to this county but to outskirts areas in counties Louth, Cavan, Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh. The office dealt with job-seekers, employers and the community generally, and provided a ‘one-stop shop’ for people who found themselves unemployed. They also operated outreach clinics in Castleblayney and Clones.
Full story in The Northern Standard

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