SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat has expressed disappointment there “has been so much opposition among members in the Assembly to the Department of Agriculture decentralising to the former army barracks at Ballykelly”.
In response to questioning from Mr Dallat in the Assembly, about the DARD relocation, Minister of Agriculture, Michelle O’Neill said: “As I have said to the House before, there are 800 jobs in DARD headquarters, so the intention is to move the whole of the headquarters to one site. You will be aware that I have made announcements in respect of Forest Service relocation, so there will be a number of jobs going into the Fermanagh area. I take on board the Member’s welcome for the Ballykelly site and assure him that it is my intention to move the majority of those 800 jobs into Ballykelly.”
MLA Dallat said the SDLP has “advocated decentralisation of civil service jobs since the Assembly came into being in 1998, but unfortunately their plans were met with almost blanket opposition from other parties,” he said.