‘Agriculture move will save a million euro’ – Connaughton

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News that half of the Department of Agriculture staff currently working in Galway City are moving to Athenry was welcomed this week by local Deputy Paul Connaughton.

Deputy Connaughton said that the move will save the Government approximately one million euro in rent, which he said is very worthwhile given the cuts that will have to be made in the upcoming budget and he added that he is hopeful that remaining staff in the city will move to Athenry in coming years.

‘For months, I have been pressing for this relocation as it makes economic sense to take staff from a high-cost city centre location and move them to places where they can be accommodated at much less cost to the exchequer.  I have met with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and his officials on numerous occasions since my election in relation to this issue and am glad that common sense has prevailed.

‘The building in Dockgate was completely unsuitable as a place for farmers to interact with the Department as it was most difficult to access.  Farmers will find it much easier to access a building in Athenry.

‘I am very disappointed if the full complement of staff is not moving to Athenry, but I believe that this is a step in the right direction and I will continue to work to ensure that all staff are centrally located in Athenry.’

‘This relocation is a welcome boost for Athenry, as it will bring new jobs to the town and will also see increased visits from farmers across the county as they visit the Department of Agriculture building. The new facility will be located on the Mellow’s Campus in Athenry, which has ample parking and is very accessible from all areas of the county.

‘It is critical that as much money as possible is saved from the administration budget of the Department of Agriculture to ensure that the funding for farm schemes is maximised.

‘I will continue to work on this issue to ensure that the maximum savings are achieved for the exchequer, while also ensuring that farmers accessing important Department of Agriculture services can do so with ease.’