IN June milk stopped being processed in Limerick city and now the Teagasc centre to advise farmers on milk production, and other areas of agriculture, has closed in the city.
The staff of the Limerick headquarters in Parnell Street will be relocated to their offices in Kilmallock and Newcastle West.
The move has been in the pipeline for two years.
Paddy Murphy, Teagasc’s Limerick education officer, who will now be based in Kilmallock, stresses there will be “no disruption” to their farmer clients.
The building was built as part of an urban renewal project in the seventies and purchased by the county committee of agriculture. Before that their base was 60 O’Connell Street.
“It is sad but there was an inevitability that it was going to happen at some stage,” said Mr Murphy. The building was put up for sale in October 2009 and was sold at the end of May to Dochas Limerick – Hope for People with Autism. “It couldn’t have gone to a better buyer,” said Mr Murphy.
Teagasc receives 75 per cent of its funding from the exchequer. Its budget has been cut by millions in recent years and they are subject to the recruitment and promotion moratorium.
Mr Murphy, who has been based in Parnell Street for 10 years, recalls that in times gone by the three floors were occupied.
“Currently we have six professional staff and four support. We are 40 to 50 per cent down on 2009. The young contract staff - their term ended in 2009 - and there were some retirements,” said Mr Murphy.