The community of Ballygar has been left reeling by the news of the forthcoming closure of Aonad Family Resource Centre and its Community Services Programme.
The closure will mean the loss of seven full-time jobs and placed in serious jeopardy such services for the local community as family support, Meals on Wheels, ‘friendly phone calls’, and ‘care and repair’ services for the elderly.
The news comes on top of closure in recent years of the VEC training centre which trained members of the Traveller community, closure of the Youth Work Ireland office, and the loss of the community welfare officer to the town.
“Locals have increasingly been forced to travel to Roscommon or Tuam to access essential services, and this is one more major blow to the town,” said one angry resident.
There has been much speculation about the reason for closure, but it is not believed to be because of financial difficulties or removal of funding. The two projects currently receive core funding from Tusla and Pobal, and bring in other substantial grant aid to the area.