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Social Welfare’s one stop shop

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Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton officially launched Intreo in Galway - the new integrated employment & support service provided by her Department at the Seán Duggan Centre, Fairgreen Road, Galway, where she was joined by (from left) Eoin Browne, Divisional Manager, Mary McMahon, Area Manager, Cllr Frank Fahy, Galway City Mayor, Regina Higgins, Divisonal Manager and Annette Murphy, Area Manager, Dept.of Social Protection.

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, has officially opened Galway’s new one stop shop for social welfare payments, serving the city and the majority of the county as well.

The new Intreo Centre in Galway city at Fairgreen Road provides a full range of social welfare services that had previously been provided from five separate offices throughout the city.

Now, customers, for the first time, have a single point of contact in one location in Galway city.  The catchment area for this new Intreo Centre is Galway city and its hinterland including east to Oranmore and Athenry, north to Claregalway and towards Headford and West including Oughterard and most of South Connemara and the Aran Islands.

Some 150 Department of Social Protection staff are based in the Intreo Centre which is headed up by Divisional Manager, Eoin Brown.   Almost 16,000 customers will be assisted through this office which includes income supports and tailored employment supports for jobseekers.

The new Intreo service in Galway will reduce waiting times for jobseeker payments, significantly improve customer service and, for the staff, the working environment has been transformed.

“Intreo has been a key element of the Government’s response to the high unemployment levels and it supports the objectives set out in Pathways to Work strategy to tackle unemployment.  It links the payment of income supports with supports offered to jobseekers in their efforts trying to find work,” the Tánaiste said.

“The type of support provided by Intreo is customised to each person’s skills, experience and qualifications.  A tailored progression plan is discussed and agreed by the jobseeker and their case officer.

“Intreo Galway provides a one-stop-shop for jobseekers where they can get their income and employment supports in the one place for the first time.  Previously, the Department’s services were situated in five different locations around the city,” she added.

The Tánaiste acknowledged the support of employers in Galway city and its environs in working with the Department of Social Protection by offering placements for jobseekers.

A team of 19 Activation Case Officers are currently working in Intreo in Galway with jobseekers.

There’s a broad range of employment supports available to jobseekers and local employers are key to the effectiveness of these supports.  Recent recruitment drives include collaboration with the Irish Hotels Federation and a number of local agencies and nursing homes.

In Galway, five companies have registered for the First Steps Youth Development Internship to date while 31 companies across the county have signed up to the Employment and Youth Activation Charter.

“This new Intreo Centre in Galway is an excellent example of how the Department of Social Protection has moved on from being a passive financial pay-hatch of old to a pro-active support for its customers.

“I am very pleased to see the Department and local employers engaging with each other, both with the same objective, to help create work and improve the standards of living for all society,” added the Tánaiste.

Connacht Tribune

Over half of west’s adults have no will

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Almost six out of every ten people in the west do not have a will – and that’s in line with the national average of 59%.

And according to the Royal London’s “Let’s Talk About Death” survey, one-third of the population say they’ve been meaning to, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

The survey was undertaken as part of a campaign launched by Royal London, which aims to tackle the taboo surrounding death to encourage a vital dialogue on bereavement, to help people enjoy the time they have with those they love and to honour those lost.

Padraic Benson, Royal London’s Broker Consultant for Galway, acknowledged that it was understandable why many people are reluctant to discuss the topic of death and dying.

But he added: “this survey indicates that it’s hampering the necessary provisions to be made. While men appear to be slightly more prepared than their female counterparts, with 48% saying they have a will compared with just 34% of women, it still leaves over half the population unprepared.”

But the pandemic has helped to focus the minds of many, he said.

“Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 254,870 recorded cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, with 10,511 confirmed cases in Galway alone.  And when asked, 55% of people surveyed said Covid-19 had made them realise how important it is to have a will in place,” he revealed.

“While the survey results do show that most people have a sense of when they should make a will, it seems the majority aren’t following through with the necessary actions. Many people have the best of intentions, with 34% saying they’ve been meaning to get around to it. Others believe they are too young (25%) and many more, 23%, have just never thought about it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Council has no cash for tourism sector dig-out

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Evelyn Parsons

Hopes of a post-Covid helping hand for tourism interests in East Galway has been dashed by the local authority which said that any such leg-up could only be part of the budgetary process for later in the year.

The matter was raised by Cllr Evelyn Parsons at a recent meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council when she said that the east of the county needed to reap the economic benefits from the lifting of restrictions.

Cllr Parsons asked that a presentation be made to area Council members with a specific focus on works to develop, enhance and stimulate tourism growth for the area.

The independent councillor proposed that Director of Services Alan Farrell outline details of the various outdoor spaces and potential business opportunities to allow for the successful reopening of businesses, outdoor dining, drinking, retail, hospitality and outdoor entertainment as soon as possible.

Cllr Parsons also wants Director of Services Liam Hanrahan to consider short term and immediate measures with regards to sanitary and public needs should as portaloos, bins, benches, Covid-19 signage as well as outdoor power points.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Transport key to success for west

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Ibec’s Helen Leahy....recommendations.

A world-class transport infrastructure is critical to the west achieving its economic potential, according to the umbrella group for the Irish business sector.

Ibec has again reiterated its shopping list for the West region, which it outlined in its recent NDP submission.

It wants to see the state step up to progress a host of key road projects – including the N6 Galway City Ring Road, and the Atlantic Economic Corridor from Galway northwards by completing the M17 Tuam to Sligo and N15 Sligo to Letterkenny.

It has also called for the implementation of the Galway Transport Strategy to deliver vital public transport across metropolitan Galway – and investment in future Port of Galway developments and expansion, including the facilitation of offshore renewable energy projects.

And in more general terms, across the region, Ibec has called for an increase capital investment in the further and higher education sector and establish a Technological University in the region, and the acceleration of the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan and ensure a supportive regulatory environment for the successful roll-out of 5G.

The body also wants to see town centres revitalized, to ensure their future viability and underpin recovery across the region.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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