Fianna Fáil Eugene Murphy TD has highlighted the fact that staffing levels at the Roscommon DVO of the Department of Agriculture has fallen by one third over the past number of years and he has emphasised the need for District Superintendent posts to be filled on a permanent basis to avoid any further downgrading of this vital service.
Eugene Murphy recently tabled a number of parliamentary questions with the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed in relation to the District Veterinary Office (DVO) of the Department of Agriculture in Roscommon Town.
“The response to my parliamentary question in relation to staffing levels at the Roscommon regional office reveals that the headcount has fallen from 42 in 2013 to just 28 as of April 2017 which is a dramatic drop of 33.3%. Back in 2013 the Department restructured the local veterinary office network and many offices closed at the time while administrative support was centralised and much of the clerical work which was carried out in Roscommon is now gone to Portlaoise as clerical officer posts in Roscommon fell from 12 in 2013 to just two in 2017. Numbers of Supervisory Agricultural Officers also fell from 8 in 2013 to 6 in 2017 while there has also been a drop in the number of Technical Agricultural officers and Veterinary Inspectors since 2017.
“However I also understand that the post of District Superintendent in the ERAD and Single Farm Payment section of the Roscommon DVO have only been filled on a temporary basis over the past number of years and I would like to see these District Superintendent posts being filled on a permanent basis as it is vital that we do not have any further erosion or downgrading of the services provided by the Roscommon office- agriculture and the farming community are the backbone of this county and I would not like to see staffing figures and levels being used to justify any further downgrading as it is vital that this service is maintained
“The Minister has indicated that an upcoming District Superintendent competition is due to take place from which a panel will be formed. I would urge the Minister to prioritise the posts in the Roscommon office and put them on a secure and permanent footing,” concluded Deputy Murphy.