FIVE WEEKS AFTER CENSUS NIGHT, some homes in East Clare have yet to receive their forms.

Feakle, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Bodyke, O’Callaghans Mills and Mountshannon are among the areas where the census forms have not been delivered to. Other instances of certain households receiving multiple forms have also been reported.

An apology has been issued by the Central Statistics Office. “In one region of east Clare we had some delays and challenges in delivering census forms and we made a number of attempts to ensure forms were delivered to homes,” it outlined in a statement.

Attempts included driving enumerators from neighbouring areas to deliver forms and posting forms directly to householders. “Census forms were posted using an address and Eircode and unfortunately it was only after census night that we were informed that these had not been delivered by An Post,” the statement added.

A courier company was subsequently engaged to help deliver all the forms and the CSO said it expects the issue to be fully resolved in the coming days. The problem is leading to fears that the area will lose out on public services as its population will be undercounted.

Assurance was offered by the CSO that forms returned “in the next few weeks will be included in the 2022 census and the area will not be disadvantaged as a result of the delay in returning the form”. The CSO had initially detailed that all forms must be completed on Sunday April 3rd (Census Night).

An Post spokesperson, Anna McHugh explained that Eircodes, when they are on letters or packages, are used for processing and a full postage address is needed to ensure that post is delivered. “The Eircode is used in processing – if it’s on a letter, it’s used in processing. But when it comes to delivery, our postal staff haven’t been implanted with widgets in their brains to look at an Eircode and know what the address is. If you’re putting something through the An Post system we need a full postal address,” she said.

Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) described the situation as “a complete farce”. He lamented, “there won’t be a proper census done in East Clare at all now”. The former Mayor of Clare added, “The alternatives when there isn’t an enumerator available are shocking”.

Hayes continued, ““The Romans were able to do a census 2000 years ago but we can’t get it right today. We had a year extra to develop this one and we still haven’t resolved it. I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that we’re still here, a month later, and people are trying to remember what they done on April 3rd.

Any householder who has not yet received their census form can reach the CSO by calling this helpline 0818 202204 or by emailing census2022@cso.ie.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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