"I was shocked to find out this office, which provides a vital service for people in Dundalk and North Louth, has been closed since Monday."
The closure of the Civil Registration Service Office in Dundalk has been described as a "bad blow for health related services in Dundalk" by a local councillor.
Sinn Féin councillor Anne Campbell was speaking after it was revealed that the office located in the Community Care Centre on the Louth County Hospital campus had closed it's doors.
Now, anyone wishing to register a birth, marraige or death of a loved one must now travel to the nearest office - in Drogheda, 20 miles away.
The office was closed on Monday of this week with the HSE website saying the office was "temporarily closed" while directing patrons to Haymarket Health Centre in Drogheda.
Campbell, herself a new member of the Regional Health Forum, says she was made aware of the issue on Tuesday this week when a new mother from North Louth went to the centre to register the birth of her twins and found that it was closed.
The Louth County Councillor reached out to the HSE for a formal response to the situation but has not received a response. However, inquiries made by the Dublin Road native reveal that staff shortages are the reason for the closure.
"I was shocked to find out this office, which provides a vital service for people in Dundalk and North Louth, has been closed since Monday," she said. "I have been able to ascertain that there
are problems with staffing and there is insufficient capacity in the HSE to provide appropriate staff
for the office in Dundalk."
Cllr Campbell said she has been unable to ascertain when the office will reopen, if it does.
"In addition, I spoke to undertakers yesterday (Tuesday) who had not been informed that the office
was closed and bereaved families will now have to go to Drogheda to register the death of a loved
"‘This is another bad blow for health-related services in Dundalk," she continued. "The town has suffered more than enough from HSE mismanagement over the years and this is another example.
"I am calling on local HSE management to now make the re-opening of this office in Dundalk their
top priority and do everything possible to ensure it is reopened as soon as possible."
The HSE's Civil Registration Service is responsible for helping people to register their children's births, along with marriages, civil partnerships and deaths. It also officiates at Civil Marriage and Civil Partnerships.