Obair staff cuts a blow to local services

Obair staff cuts a blow to local services


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Clare Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley has called on the country’s Fine Gael Oireachtas members to explain how they can support Minister Leo Varadkar when his office is set to cut staffing levels at Obair Newmarket on Fergus.

Deputy Dooley said that the decision by TD’s Pat Breen, Joe Carey and Senator Martin Conway Fine Gael leadership candidate Leo Varadkar as shocking and one that requires an explanation.

“It has become clear that Minister Varadkar’s Department is intent on cutting staffing by 33% which will surely curtail the level of services being provided to the local community.

“In recent years, 20 staff members were funded by the Department to work in Obair Newmarket on Fergus under the Community Services Programme.

“I don’t accept the Minister’s assertion that a 33% cut in staffing support is sufficient to cover the organisation’s current areas of work.

“Deputies Breen and Carey, in addition to Senator Conway, need to account for their support for Minister Varadkar in the current Fine Gael Leadership campaign in light of these cuts.

“Will cuts of this nature to really important local community services be the new signature policy measures of a Leo Varadkar led Government, and are Clare Fine Gael public representatives happy to support such measures?

“Obair provides meals on wheels and crèche facilities, as well as training and education supports to the local community and a reduction in staffing support from the Department of Social Protection will jeopardise the provision of these services.

“The three local Fine Gael Oireachtas members should use their public support for Minister Varadkar to convince him to reverse the cuts; if they can’t or won’t the question needs to be asked: what was the point of coming out so publicly for the Minister?” concluded Dooley.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.