Written answers

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Citizens Information Services

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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160. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the opening of a new Citizens Information office in Shannon town, County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29101/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Citizens Information Board (CIB) is the statutory body responsible for supporting the provision of information, advice (including money and budgeting advice) and advocacy services on a wide range of public and social services. A national network of Citizens Information Centres, overseen by regional Citizens Information Service companies provides information, advice and advocacy services to the public.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in line with public health guidance, the Citizens Information Centre which operates from the Shannon Business Centre, was required to close to the public. This was because the Shannon premises did not meet required HSE Covid-19 health advice and the Return to Work Safely Protocol and could not offer citizens information services safely in-person.

North Munster CIS which has responsibility for the CIC at Shannon is progressing plans to retrofit the existing premises to the requisite safety standards to facilitate limited face-to face appointment service for members of the public. It is understood that from next week the Shannon Centre will be in a position to facilitate some emergency in-person appointments where required.

It is very important to understand that while in person appointment or drop-in services were required to close at the Shannon Business Centre – citizens information services remain open, active and available to the public in the Shannon region. The service can be contacted by phone (at 0761 07 5370) and by email (at shannon.cic@citinfo.ie). Service hours are Monday to Friday 9.00am to 1.00 pm, and 2.00pm to 5.00 pm. In addition, clients who require a face to face appointment, can and have been, facilitated in the Citizen Information Centres in Ennis or Limerick.

Furthermore, North Munster CIS is also engaged in a review of its service delivery points, both core offices and outreach locations, and is examining all options in the Shannon area. It is expected that this review will be completed, and a decision made on the future location of services for the Shannon area, before the end of 2020

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

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