Local TD fears for future of community welfare offices in Dundalk
Louth TD Declan Breathnach has said he fears that two Community Welfare offices in Dundalk could be closed, following a response he received to a parliamentary question this week.
Deputy Breathnach said that he believes Minster Regina Doherty's response gives a clear indication that the other two locations (Adelphi Court in the town centre and Muirhevnamor) may discontinue with all services operating from St. Alphonsus Road.
“In answer to my question the Minister stated that local management are currently finalising proposals to provide a more integrated and efficient Community Welfare Service to customers in the town, by eliminating any inconvenience in having to travel between locations, expanding opening hours and reducing the need for queuing. The co-location of the team would ensure that an official is always on hand to deal with emergency situations."
He continued: “She also outlined how the local Intreo Centre also provides a one-stop-shop for the full range of income and employment support services, which to me, gives a clear indication that the other two locations may discontinue with all services operating from St. Alphonsus Road.
“The Minister also outlined that the proposal will not cause any additional hardship to service users that are elderly or have mobility issues. The purpose of the proposed move is, she said, in fact, to improve the quality and accessibility of the service and minimise inconvenience to customers. As at present, arrangements will continue be made to conduct a home visit to any customer who has a difficulty visiting the office.
“If the two additional offices do indeed close, it will cause upset to some customers who will have to travel farther to access the services.