A local TD has warned the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine against making any further job cuts at Department offices in Cavan Town, saying there is an "absolute need" for the a strong presence locally.
Fianna Fail TD Brendan Smith was reacting to confirmation that the Department of Agriculture recently transferred its payroll function from the Cavan office to the Payroll Shared Service Centre in Killarney.
He described it as "regrettable" that numbers had reduced at the local offices in recent years, and said that the recent development had given way to some fear among staff that further cuts may be on the horizon.
The decentralised office in Cavan manages, among other operations, the Land Registry Office, and according to the most recent figures available from the Department the equivalent of 229 people work there on a full and part-time basis.
"Numbers have fallen in recent years. The Agriculture Office is a major employer in Cavan and provides a crucial role in the running of operations in the Department. It must be maintained. I tabled the question to the Minister to to mark his card. I did this a number of years ago too, and and that is regrettable. We want that office to have the highest number of staff possible at it," said Deputy Smith.
In response to the local TD's query, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed confirmed that new work has been allocated to the office formerly dealing with the Department’s payroll function in Cavan.
He added too his commitment to maintaining the Cavan office, which has been included in the Department's new Mobility Initiative, that is being developed as part of the Civil Service Renewal Plan. This he said "will facilitate mobility and transfers of staff across the Civil Service. My Department’s Cavan office will be included in this mobility initiative."