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03 Dec 2021

Money woes evident at St Christopher's Services in Longford town

No cuts to services, meeting hears

St Christophers

Concerns over the financial well-being of St Christopher's Services will not impede its ability to carry out its day to day functions.  

Concerns over the financial well-being of St Christopher's Services will not impede its ability to carry out its day to day functions.  

Not for the first time, the Battery Road facility is having to contend with mounting financial pressures due to increasing regulatory concerns and staff retention issues.

Local politicians learned at its monthly meeting of the sheer scale of the problem as details of a €1m deficit alongside an annual underfunding of €1.2m were spelled out.

Fianna Fáíl's Joe Flaherty said the quandary confronting officials at the service provider was so grave, it required government action on the issue.
Independent Cllr Mae Sexton described the seven figure deficit as “huge” and was a shortfall which “needed to be addressed by government”.

Cllr Peggy Nolan, who originally raised the issue by suspending standing orders, received the backing of her fellow colleagues for councillors to take part in a singing spectacle at Backstage Theatre.

This, she said, would be held with a view to covering a near €6,000 shortfall currently being experienced by St Christopher's Longford branch as part of its attempts to compile a yearly calendar.

In light of the concerns raised over St Christopher's fiscal well-being, both Cllrs Paraic Brady and Micheal Carrigy said they had received assurances from Health Minister Simon Harris over the retention of services going forward.

Cllr Carrigy said he had been present at a previous meeting when Mr Harris visited St Christopher's and where a firm undertaking had been given over the facility's future service provision.

His party colleague followed suit, adding there was nothing new in St Christopher's financial complexities.

“That €2.2m deficit didn't come over the last year,” he said.
“That was there going back five or six years.”

Read Also:  Concerns over €1m shortfall at Longford's St Christopher’s Services

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