*Photograph: Joe Buckley

Shannon is without “valuable support services” following the continued reduction to the offering of the local community office.

In November, cuts were first introduced to the Shannon Community Office at a time when the Citizens Information Board stated they would offer service which included a five day offering, a stance which raised eyebrows in the town from the get-go.

Answers are now being sought from a national level with Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) calling on the Office for Social Inclusion within the Government “to address the loss of the valuable support services provided by Shannon Community Office”. Changes introduced last year were called a “dismantling of the community office structures” while he commented that the co-location of the Citizens Information Board and ClareCare services have ceased.

No response was received when Cllr Flynn as Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD invited the incoming CEO of ClareCare to address councillors at two meetings this year. “The need for support and communities was never greater than it was but unfortunately ClareCare have cut the office hours to two days a week”. He said all staff complete in this time is the Shannon Newsletter, a publication in which he used to advertise but which he now described as “a cut and paste job”.

Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) outlined of the reduction in hours and operations, “It is well-missed service”. She added, “When they first cut the services they tried to hold clinics in SkyCourt so you had people telling information that was private in a public setting, that was a no go for me”.

“It is an absolute disgrace that it has gone to this,” Cllr John Crowe (FG) stated. “With the population in Shannon Town alone an office like this should be open for five days a week”. Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) highlighted the public from the entire Shannon area attended the office, “we need to get it reopened”.

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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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