Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has said he is very disappointed by the Government’s decision to close more Community Welfare clinics in Offaly. Clinics in Daingean, Cloghan and Kilcormack will close from September 23rd.
Deputy Cowen commented: “I have been informed by the Department of Social Protection that these clinics will be closed before the end of the month and people using the clinics in Daingean and Kilcormack will now be served by services in Tullamore and work from the Clonghan clinic will transfer to Birr.
“This Government has continually attacked many services in rural communities. This only further isolates people who live in these communities and follows on from the closure of four Community Welfare clinics in April.
“I know many people who will now be left with longer distances to travel for a service that has been provided very successfully in the community up to now. I think these cuts are short-sighted and any savings from this are likely to be minimal. It also highlights the fact that Minister Joan Burton has utterly failed to reform the social welfare system and improve the system for service users.
“In next month’s budget it is essential that the Government avoid cuts that hit rural Ireland once again. Older people, people with disabilities and children have been the targets of very regressive cuts from this Government with supports like medical cards, respite care grant, home help hours and domiciliary care allowance all being cut. We need a fairer way to recovery and Fianna Fáil will be publishing out budget proposals in the coming weeks with fairness at its core.”