DVA job losses: Secretary of State should hang head in shame

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SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat has reacted to the British Government announcement that 235 jobs will be lost at DVA in Coleraine.

Speaking after hearing the news, Mr Dallat said: “There are no depths the British government will not stoop to when they want to offload bad news involving Northern Ireland. There are no limits to the disrespect they are prepared to show to civil servants who have served the public faithfully through the darkest days of the Troubles and since.

“This announcement was clearly planned when they knew Mark H Durkan the Minister for the Environment was on his way to America for the Saint Patrick’s Day events. They did it when they knew that just about everyone was away.

“The workers are devastated, feel abandoned, let down and trampled upon.

“At the minute they have a very low opinion of what passes as democracy when every elected representative opposed the loss of over 300 jobs in Coleraine.

“This decision demonstrates very clearly the low priority Northern Ireland has when it comes to decision-making and it calls into question the sincerity of the Tories when they claim they are on the side of rebuilding our economy and pointing to a better future for everyone.

“The Secretary of State and others based in Westminster should hang their heads in shame for sitting on their hands when they should have been full-square behind the workers. They have made no contribution to those who have worked through the worst of times to build a new society.

“In the days ahead we have to pick up the pieces, see what is available and hope that there is more than the advice offered to workers this morning which is to remind them of the availability of Welfare Support Services.