COUNCILLORS SEEK MEETING WITH TDS ON RETENTION OF SOCIAL PROTECTION OFFICES IN BALLYBAY

26 March 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Cianna McNally

Councillors at the March meeting of Ballybay-Clones Municipal District last week agreed a proposal by Seamus Coyle to invite Cavan/Monaghan TDs and members of Ballybay Development Association and Ballybay Chamber of Commerce to meet with them in relation to the retention of the Department of Social Protection offices in Ballybay.

The councillors previously met the TDs and representatives from Ballybay Chamber of Commerce on this issue in October last year. Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus Coyle requested last week that they would meet again to get an update on what work had been done by the TDs in relation to keeping the offices in Ballybay since last October.

Councillor Coyle also asked what was the exact position of the Office of Public Works, the Department of Social Protection and “the powers that be” regarding the offices.

As part of the Municipal District Co-ordinator’s report, Kevin McNally stated that he understood that the Department of Social Protection had not yet secured alternative accommodation in Monaghan town. He added that the Department had also expressed a willingness to examine a proposal submitted by Ballybay Development Association.

Councillor Coyle described the issue as crucial for Ballybay and if the people employed in the Ballybay offices were moved to Monaghan it would be disastrous. He added that he understood rent costs in Monaghan town could be “four times” what it would be for a building in Ballybay. He then formally proposed that an invitation would be sent to the TDs to meet with the councillors and representatives from Ballybay Chamber of Commerce and Ballybay Development Association.

CEO “ECONOMICAL WITH THE TRUTH”

Seconding Cllr Coyle’s proposal, veteran Fine Gael councillor Hugh McElvaney stated that he had tried to find out from CEO of Monaghan Co Council Eugene Cummins where exactly the Department of Social Protection Offices would be located in Monaghan town but felt that Mr Cummins had been “economical with the truth.”

He added that he was disappointed that the offices and jobs were being taken out of Ballybay but he was happy that they were staying in Co Monaghan and he asked Director of Services with Monaghan Co Council Adge King where the offices would be located in Monaghan town.

Mr King responded that he honestly did not know where they would …

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