Hazzard Welcomes Fisheries’ Office Moving To Downpatrick
SOUTH Down MLA Chris Hazzard (Séin Fein) has expressed his delight at the decision by NI Fisheries Minister Michelle O’Neill who has officially announced that the new DARD Fisheries Office will be relocated to the Downshire public sector hub in Downpatrick.
The Fisheries Office is currently located at Hut 5 at Dundonald in the Stormont grounds. Discussion is still ongoing regarding the decentralisation of agriculture offices at Stormont. Speaking after the announcment, Mr Hazzard said: “I had written to the DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill about siting the DARD Fisheries Office in the South Down area and I am delighted that she has now informed me that this will now happen in the near future.
“The South Down ports of Kilkeel, Ardglass, and Portavogie are amongst the busiest fishing ports in Ireland so Downpatrick is the logical location for the Fisheries Office.
“This is part of the Sinn Féin promise to decentralise governmental departments and Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has led from the front in delivering this policy.
“This decision is a major boost to the South Down region and a reversal of the trend of people commuting into greater Belfast. It will also add to the local economy.
“It is important that we continue to lobby all departments to consider South Down as an option as the process of decentralisation and I am confident that we can convince more public sector jobs to be situated in the months and years ahead,” added Mr Hazzard.