By Dan Walsh
Cllr Diarmuid Devereux told today’s monthly meeting of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal that THE GUARDIAN offices in Gorey is closed and he wanted to say to local journalist Cathy Lee, who was present at the meeting, that it was a great pleasure for us all (fellow members and officials) to have worked with the Gorey office over many years.
“I’m not sure of the plans of the company that now owns The People Newspaper Group are, but in my humble opinion they are making a serious mistake withdrawing their district office from Gorey. It is something that the people of the town have an affinity with, and can I note my personal disappointment at the decision,” said Cllr Devereux, who added; “I hope that the welfare of the staff vacating the office in Gorey will be looked after.”
Cllr Devereux thanked Cathly Lee and the staff in Gorey for the presence they had in the town over many years. Cathaoirleach Cllr Pip Breen agreed and added that this happened to Dan Walsh a few years ago when THE GOREY ECHO started down this road and then disappeared.
The district offices are not just closed in Gorey, but also in Arklow, New Ross and Enniscorthy. “It is a shame and a disconnect with the ordinary people who supported and would religiously buy the local newspapers and they are trying to send us down the digital way,” added Cllr Breen.
Cllr Mary Farell said “it is shameful that the office is closing” and stated “it has provided the connection between the people of the town with the environs and surrounding district.” She wished the staff well – “you have treated us all with fairness and professionalism and always reported in a very fair manner.”
Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin said it was a very sad day to see any newspaper offices closed. “I suppose it is the sign of the world of journalism and the threats posed by globalism and I would like to wish Cathy and the staff well, and some people like Ger Leacy who gave 40 years’ service, Sean Dwyer, Fintan Lambe and others.
“It is a very sad day for local politics and what is local in the country and what is good about this country is being so localised compared to a lot of other counties. It is a foreboding sign of things to come and the direction journalism has taken. It certainly is a sad time,” concluded Cllr Ó Súilleabháin.
Journalist Cathy Lee said she appreciated the understanding of the situation. “Obviously it came as a bit of a shock to all of us but the plan from Mediahuis is to have county hubs and the Wexford town office is where I will be based once a week. We proved ourselves over the pandemic we can operate this model and work away on our own bat. They think that the quality of the paper didn’t decrease over the pandemic, actually it was strengthened and we can continue with this model.
“Personally I am disappointed because I have welcomed you all into the office and I don’t plan on dropping any of those connections that we have build up over the last two and a half years. While I won’t have a base in Gorey I don’t plan on lessening any of my connections here and I think it is just a change in the digital offering now that we have e-papers and online news coming up regularly,” added Ms. Lee.