Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has warned that the ‘ongoing dismantling’ of Citizens Information Services across the State is disastrous for communities.
Speaking this week, Deputy Kerrane said that alarm bells were raised when restructuring and regionalisation by the Citizens Information Board went ahead in 2017.
The Sinn Féin TD said that at the time, the Committee on Social Protection examined the restructuring plans and compiled a report recommending that the restructuring not go ahead – but this was ignored.
“In fact at the time, it was Fianna Fáil in opposition who brought forward a Dáil Motion calling on the restructuring plans to be scrapped which we supported,” she said.
“They now appear silent as the consequences of restructuring is felt in communities, exactly as we warned it would.”
Deputy Kerrane said that the decision to change the way in which volunteers give their time and expertise in Citizen Information Services across the State, some for decades, does not serve the public.
“In one case recently highlighted we are seeing the potential loss of over twenty Volunteers in one Centre, replaced with a part-time staff member who will provide far less of a service in terms of opening hours and time.
“The treatment of volunteers is also disappointing as is the lack of recognition for what they have provided for decades right across the State.
“Citizens Information is a really crucial service and it is needed now more than ever. The loss of Volunteers’ expertise and time will be hugely negative.”