Fianna Fáil Cllr Joe Flaherty says he is disappointed by the decision taken by the Government not to grant funding for a new Family Resource Centre in Longford.

Family Resource Centre’s are operated by the Child and Family Agency and provide services to support local communities. These services include information on entitlements, supports in accessing further education and training opportunities and the provision of counselling to individuals and groups.

Cllr Flaherty said, “It was announced in Budget 2018 that additional funding was being made available to support the creation of an additional 11 Family Resource Centres in communities across Ireland. These 11 new locations have now been announced and Longford is notably absent from the list. This is despite the fact that a robust application was made by Longford for funding.

“It’s clear that Longford is well down the list of priorities when it comes to this Government. Fine Gael and their Independent Alliance colleagues simply don’t recognise the needs of local communities here in Longford. There is no excuse for failing to provide the funding that is necessary to put in place an additional Family Resource Centre in Longford. It is badly needed and something which is long overdue.

“The fact that there is no one fighting Longford’s corner in Government is having a detrimental impact on the county. I’m fighting to regain a Dáil seat for Fianna Fáil to ensure communities in Longford are well represented and get the funding and resources they deserve. We can’t tolerate a situation where the county is overlooked time and time again as has happened for the last 7 years under this Fine Gael Government.

“Fianna Fáil will be following up on this issue with the Government to determine why Longford was overlooked for this vital funding. The application criteria specifically mention that community disadvantage has to be taken into account. Despite this many of the locations that have been granted funding do not face the same disadvantage challenges that Longford is experiencing. It doesn’t add up,” concluded Cllr Flaherty.