23 October 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Cianna McNally

Ballybay-Clones councillors this week supported a call for an urgent meeting with the Cavan – Monaghan TDs to discuss their concerns about jobs in the Department of Social Protection office in Ballybay.

The call for such a meeting was made by Seamus Coyle who said if these jobs were lost to Ballybay it would be a “pure kick in the teeth” to the people of the town and the local Municipal District councillors.

He referred to a letter he had received from Joan Burton that had informed him that the relocation of the office was being considered.

“This must be averted, we cannot allow this to happen to Ballybay. I propose that we bring in all TDs, outline the situation to them and ask them to seek assurance that the jobs and the office would remain in Ballybay,” stated Cllr Coyle.

He added that the meeting should take place as a matter of urgency and that two representatives from Ballybay Chamber of Commerce should also be invited.

Cllr Coyle’s comments were supported by Cllr Hugh McElvaney who proposed that other issues such as the Ulster Canal and the North South Interconnector should also be discussed with the TDs when they met with the Municipal District members.

Cllr Pat Treanor also agreed that the retention of the jobs in Ballybay was vital. However, he expressed concern that if any other issues were added to the meeting with the TDs, it could “water down” the importance of the Ballybay jobs issue. If he could be assured that each issue was treated as being equally important, Cllr Treanor said he would second Cllr McElvaney’s proposal.

Cathaoirleach Ciara McPhillips said that the reason for the review by Minister Joan Burton was due to the Minister’s department looking at expansion.

“We need to identify available properties in Ballybay so the excuse that there is nowhere suitable for expansion in the town cannot be used,” said Cllr McPhillips.

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