TDs urged to make ‘phantom’ Roscommon jobs a red line issue

The delivery of over 150 promised civil/public service jobs that never materialised in Roscommon Town should be a ‘red line issue’ for Independent TDs Michael Fitzmaurice and Denis Naughten in any talks they take part in on a new Programme for Government.

That’s the view of Roscommon councillor Tony Waldron who says it is unacceptable that state-of-the-art Government offices at Golf Links Road were never staffed as promised.

Cllr. Waldron says Roscommon/Galway Oireachtas members have long “turned a blind eye” to the fact that a 230-job project never proceeded as intended.

When the decentralisation of the Property Registration Authority-Land Registry offices was announced back in 2003, 230 jobs were earmarked for Roscommon Town. However, when fabulous new offices were built at Golf Links Road, less than 80 civil servants actually relocated there. The years have gone by, but the issue of the elusive 150 jobs has not completely gone away.

As recently as 18 months ago, Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, was quizzed in the Dáil on the status of the 2003 decentralisation programme.

On that occasion, Minister Donohoe confirmed that the already slowly evolving plan had been shelved by the Government in 2011, “in light of the budgetary and staffing outlook at the time”. Minister Donohoe said that as of late 2018, there were 77 public servants in the PRA in Roscommon.

Cllr. Waldron (Independent) says he is dismayed that local Oireachtas members have “failed to maintain pressure” on successive governments over the non-delivery of the remaining 150 or so jobs to Roscommon.

“This should never have been accepted. Sufficient political pressure has not been applied. Those 230 jobs were announced for Roscommon Town and most of them never came. It is a failure of political will”.

Cllr. Waldron said that the elusive jobs are needed now more than ever.

“Our Independent TDs Denis Naughten and Michael Fitzmaurice may both be engaged, separately, in Government formation talks over the coming days and weeks. I am calling on both TDs to make delivery of these jobs a red line issue if they are thinking of supporting a new Government”.