"Long dole queues deny
people their dignity"
Pádraig MacLochlainn has described the temporary
closure last week of a backlogged Social Welfare
office as evidence of the county's deepening
He described the problem as "predictable" given the
large queues outside offices in Letterkenny and
Buncrana in recent times.
And the Sinn Féin representative repeated his
party’s call for Donegal-based Tánaiste and
Enterprise Minister Mary Coughlan to outline her
Government’s plan to revitalise her home county's
Cllr Mac Lochlainn said: “Thousands of Donegal
people are facing into an uncertain future having to
sign on the dole with no hope of getting a job in
the near future due to the unstable employment
scenario facing us."
Almost 4,000 people
have signed on the Live Register in Donegal in the
last year. At 13,000, unemployment levels are at
their highest levels ever.
The Buncrana-based councillor called for a
Government strategy to stabilise the economy in the
"It must also introduce measures to support those
who have been hit hardest and should ensure that
those people who have lost their jobs are not
further penalised with the rising fears of having
their homes repossessed.
"People’s dignity must be protected.
Scenes of large crowds
queuing outside Social Welfare offices should be
avoided at all costs. If more staff are needed to
process unemployment claims, that should be resolved
Cllr MacLochlainn said people who found themselves
unemployed through no fault of their own, should
"not be made to feel like beggars".
"After all during their working period they have
paid their taxes and contributions to the State and
it's now time for the State to repay that good work.
Members of the public must be afforded respect at
"The Government must put in place a strategy to get
these people back to work we cannot as a nation have
these proven productive and diligent workers on the
dole, and we certainly don’t want to go back to the
bad old days of exporting our greatest assets, our
people," he added.