A Sligo/Leitrim TD says he believes the issue of the veterinary laboratory in Sligo is being turned into a ‘political football.’

The Fine Gael deputy’s comments following reports in the media about the future of the laboratory.

Deputy McLoughlin says he believes there is a certain amount of internal and external politics at play in relation to the issue.

He added that it was unfortunate that this is the case as he strongly believes that Sligo’s efforts to keep the laboratory open is being continually damaged because of the constant negative publicity on the issue.

Deputy McLoughlin said that ultimately, it will be the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed TD who will have the final say on this issue.

And he says this is why sensitive political negotiations behind the scenes with public representatives from across the region and the Minister will be vital if they are to succeed in keeping it open.

Deputy McLoughlin says he will not stand for any decision which would see the closure of the laboratory.

James Gallagher, chairman of Leitrim IFA, has been telling Ocean FM of the efforts that are being made to keep the laboratory open.