Updated: 20/04/17 : 13:31:01
Fine Gael TD for Sligo - Leitrim, Tony McLoughlin has given a strong commitment to the farming community in the North-west region that he will not stand for any decision which would see the Regional Veterinary Laboratory close in Doonally, Co. Sligo. The Government TD’s comments come as increased concerns about the regional laboratory have been raised once again in local media in Sligo and Leitrim this month.
“I have had several meetings with the staff of the Regional Veterinary Laboratory recently, as well as with concerned local farmers from my area and IFA representatives in Sligo and Leitrim.
“I have listened to their concerns at first-hand and the message I have sent and will continue to send to Minister is that it is clear that the service is working well here in Co. Sligo. It is in a key location in the region as it services farmers from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo and Roscommon and Monaghan and if the service is not broken, as it clearly is not, then there is no need to fix it.
Speaking about these specific media reports this week, Deputy McLoughlin stated that “unfortunately, with regard to the Sligo Laboratory, I believe that there is a certain amount of internal and external politics at play which aims to turn the Laboratory into a political football. “For what reason, I don’t know. However, it is indeed unfortunate that this is the case as I strongly believe that Sligo’s efforts to keep our laboratory open is being continually damaged because of the constant negative publicity on the issue.
“Ultimately, it will be the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed TD who will have the final say on this issue. This is why sensitive political negotiations, behind the scenes with public representatives from across the region and the Minister will be vital if we are to succeed in keeping it open. I am hopefully we will be able to achieve that, "concluded the Sligo based TD.