The implementation of the recommendations of the Report on the Review of Certain Decentralisation Programme Projects by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform earlier this week has raised a number of questions for the decentralised Equality Authority office in Roscrea, according to Deputy Michael Lowry.
The Independent T.D. for North Tipperary and South Offaly has raised concerns about the future of the Equality Authority Office which was decentralised to Roscrea and currently employs 16 people.
In the first instance Deputy Lowry has expressed disappointed that full decentralisation to this office will not continue. The report lists the Equality Authority as one of the offices where an advance party is already in place and has stated that this advance party will stay in place at present but the remaining posts will not be moved to Roscrea.
“In total this office was to employ 41 people which would have been a major boost to the Roscrea area. Unfortunately the current Government is not progressing the decentralisation programme for economic reasons. While I understand and appreciate these reasons it is a further final blow to the people of Roscrea who have already lost so much from their town.”
“The wording of the report itself raises concerns for the office. The Roscrea office is singled out as still being under review. The report specifically states that;
“The Department of Justice and Equality reports that the future of the Roscrea office is being considered by a working group set up to advise the Minister on issues relating to the amalgamation of the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority and that, while it will remain in situ at present, a decision on its future will be taken once the working group has reported with its recommendations.”
“This vagueness creates great uncertainty for the future of the Equality Authority Office. It is unclear at this point whether the office in Roscrea will face amalgamation or even closure, quite simply we have no indication what the recommendations of the report will be. I have written to Minister Brendan Howlin T.D. seeking further information and assurances on this matter. I will be continuing to monitor this issue closely to ensure that the best possible outcome for Roscrea is the one that is advanced, further to this report being published in the future.”.