Minister: ‘No question’ of Irish Aid leaving Limerick

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

MINISTER of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs Jan O’Sullivan has said there is “no question” of moving Irish Aid out of Limerick City Centre.

MINISTER of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs Jan O’Sullivan has said there is “no question” of moving Irish Aid out of Limerick City Centre.

The government last week announced plans to review a number of agencies, including Shannon Development and Irish Aid, alongside the rationalisation of 48 further agencies.

This has led to fears that Henry Street’s Irish Aid office, opened as part of the 2002 government’s decentralisation plans, could be closed.

But Deputy O’Sullivan, who oversees the aid agency’s functions, moved to quell these fears.

However, the future of Shannon Development is in doubt, after the government announced it would review all the development agency’s functions.

Staff were called to a meeting at its headquarters last Thursday to discuss an action plan, with the possibility the tourism function of the agency could be merged with Failte Ireland.

Nationally, some 23,500 public sector jobs are under threat as part of the government’s plans to rationalise 48 quangos.

Ms O’Sullivan said: “There is no intention to move Irish Aid out of Limerick. The issue under review is that of adequate staffing which is a problem across all government departments. It is a particular problem in the Department of Foreign Affairs, because people go abroad, and some of the very good people we have in Limerick have become ambassadors recently, and gone to various places like Malawi and Vietnam.”

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