Senator Maura Hopkins (right) has described criticism of her by Cllr. Rachel Doherty as “completely unacceptable, inappropriate and without foundation”
At a meeting of Roscommon County Council Cllr. Doherty (Fianna Fáil) had accused Senator Hopkins of ‘wringing her hands” with regard to challenges facing Ballaghaderreen, including the upcoming loss of 38 jobs at the town’s cigar factory.
Cllr. Doherty said she was “tired” of Senator Hopkins “standing idly by” and “appearing absolutely exasperated” in media interviews.
Senator Hopkins (Fine Gael) has hit back, telling the Roscommon People that Cllr. Doherty is “clearly more interested in personal attacks rather than working on issues.”
She said: “My focus in the Seanad is entirely on the job and working in the best interests of people – unlike that of Cllr. Doherty.
“Cllr. Rachel Doherty would be far better served if she used her energies to focus on working together to resolve issues in North Roscommon rather than on making personal attacks against me.”
Senator Hopkins invited Cllr. Doherty to contact her and “visit Ballaghaderreen to address any concerns she has in relation to the many issues that I am working very hard on.”
She continued: “I have been in regular contact with Minister for Jobs, Mary Mitchell O’Connor and have strongly emphasised the need for a proper priority to be given to Ballaghaderreen and North Roscommon in terms of employment opportunities.
“A meeting of all Oireachtas representatives with Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, relevant state agencies (IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office) and Roscommon County Council along with representation from Ballaghaderreen Chamber of Commerce and Ballaghaderreen Town Team will take place next Wednesday afternoon, 10th of May.”