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Lord Mayor confirms Tesco debacle also to be raised at Stormont meeting

The Armagh Tesco debacle is also to be raised during a meeting due to take place tomorrow afternoon at Stormont, Armagh I can reveal.

Lord Mayor Cathy Rafferty raised the issue with Tesco and called for an urgent meeting after the news of their decision not to open in Armagh was revealed.

She has confirmed to Armagh I that, after a meeting in the city in the morning, senior officials from Tesco will meet later in the day with her party colleagues, Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Boylan and Councillor Garath Keating, at Stormont.

And tonight, on the eve of those crunch meetings, the Lord Mayor has called for the public to be kept fully informed of the intentions for the expansive Alexander Road site.

Lord Mayor Rafferty will be attending the meeting in Armagh tomorrow (Tuesday) morning with representatives of the retail giant and Turkingtons, from Portadown, who are continuing with the construction work.

She told Armagh I: “Tesco must give us an assurance that this site will be finished and ready for another tenant, either to lease or buy, if they are not going to fulfil their commitment.

“We are sitting in the middle of a geographical area that would benefit Tyrone, Monaghan and further afield.

“Therefore, an anchor tenant needs to be headhunted for this site and I would hope that Tesco would work with council to make sure that this is a realistic goal.

“People are very disappointed, and rightly so.

“The loss of potentially 250 jobs is not to be taken lightly.

“I will also be asking why councillors were the last to know about the decision to pull out of Armagh.

“We need a tenant that will bring people to Armagh to shop and compliment the other businesses that we already have here.”

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