Sligo-North Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to immediately clarify the Government’s plans for the Teagasc offices Sligo Road, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim amid strong rumours that the office has been earmarked for closure.

Senator Mac Sharry said: “The people of North Leitrim and North Sligo need urgent clarity from Minister Coveney on this issue.  The Teagasc office in Sligo closed only a number of months ago and refurbishment works costing in the order of €40,000 were undertaken at the office in Manorhamilton to accommodate staff that were to move to the office as a result.  Now there is genuine concern that the Manorhamilton office is also going to be closed.

“If the Manorhamilton Teagasc office closes it will have a significant impact on agricultural advice and training services carried out by the organisation locally.  It will also be another hammer blow to the rural communities which depend on this office for assistance.

“I am aware that the Assistant Director of Advisory Area Units in Teagasc is in the region tomorrow (Tuesday) for a meeting on this issue in Ballymote.

Senator Mac Sharry concluded: “The Minister for Agriculture must be straight with the people of Sligo and Leitrim. These communities will not stand idly by as the fabric of rural Ireland is eroded through cuts to small schools, the closure of garda stations, the introduction of septic tank charges and now the withdrawal of Teagasc services through the proposed closure of the Manorhamilton office.”