Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection Regina Doherty visits Longford staff today

Aisling Kiernan

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Aisling Kiernan

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aislingkiernan11@gmail.com

Minister Regina Doherty

Cllr Micheál Carrigy and Minister Regina Doherty at the Department of Social Protection this afternoon.

Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection Regina Doherty was in Longford this afternoon to meet with her staff and talk with party colleagues.  

She also confirmed that €300,000 in funding is in the pipeline to extend parking facilities at the Department of Social Protection on the Ballinalee Road.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Leader during her visit Minister Doherty said An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar would make announcement tonight in respect of a BREXIT deal between Ireland and Northern Ireland in relation to trade and travel.  

“We have allocated funding to provide 30 new car parking spaces here at the Department of Social Protection,” she added, before pointing to “excellent” State facility that was in the county.  

“My colleague, Minister Kevin Moran  announced this morning that he was allocating money from the OPW for the project and it will now go to tender.”

With regards to BREXIT, negotiations between the two countries have been at a ‘delicate stage’ for the past few days, but it appears that in the last few hours, a compromise may have been reached.

Ms Doherty said, she expected the Taoiseach to address the nation on the matter later tonight.  

“It is very sensitive and the final wording has not been signed off on yet, but I believe there will be a positive announcement and I hope that it will reaffirm our commitment and the United Kingdom's commitment to the common travel area, enshrining the Good Friday Agreement and the protection of same between the two different governments.”

She also said that BREXIT had caused a lot of difficulty for the Irish agriculture industry over the past few months and it was important that ‘cross country trade’ between the two sides continued.

“Our common trade agreements that are barrier free is what is important to both the island of Ireland and the United Kingdom - we all want the same thing after this agreement - so it is just a matter of finding a formula of words that we can all agree on.”

And with regards to her visit to Longford, Minister Doherty said it was “enjoyable”.

“The vibrancy of Longford town has really stood out for me,” she smiled, before pointing out that she also visited the Seetec and  INTREO offices earlier.    

“You hear anecdotally that some of our rural areas are not performing to the same degree as our cities, but the welcome and the buzz in Longford town today is palpable.

“There is a real warmth here in Longford.”

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