Know Your Rights! By Annette J Dunlea
During these times of economic hardship it is important to know your rights. If goods are faulty while under guarantee you are entitled to get a new one or the product fixed.Have your research done before you return to the seller and be aware you can always go to the small court claims.It is a service provided by District Court offices and is designed to handle consumer claims and business claims cheaply without involving a solicitor.The District Court Clerk, called the Small Claims Registrar, processes small claims.Type of claims dealt with:a claim for goods or services bought for private use from someone selling them in the course of a business (consumer claims),a claim for goods or services bought for business use from someone selling them in the course of a business (business claims)and a claim for minor damage to property (but excluding personal injuries), a claim for the non-return of a rent deposit for certain kinds of rented properties. For example, a holiday home or a room / flat in a premises where the owner also lives provided that a claim does not exceed €2,000.Using the Small Claims Online System you will be able to:create a small claim application online,pay the appropriate small claim application fee,check the status of your online small claim and have your small claim online PIN emailed to you.Cork District Court Office is located at The Courthouse, Anglesea Street,Cork.Telephone them at021 4319610 or email them at CorkDC@Courts.ie.Their opening hours are : Monday to Friday: 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. & 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.
There are a number of services to help the public.The Carrigaline Citizens Information Centre in Carrigaline is situated in the Carrigaline CIC Portacabin,Owenabue Car Park,Main Road,Carrigaline,Co. Cork. Its opeing hours are Tuesday to Friday 10 am -1.30 pm.You can telephone them at 021 437 6793 or email them at : email@example.com .It provides a free and confidential information, advice and advocacy service to the public on their rights and entitlements regarding, for example:on social welfare matters, employment issues, consumer rights, housing issues, health entitlements and family/relationship issues, etc.It maintains a website at www.citizensinformation.ie which provides a vast amount of information on many topics.All offices are manned by trained Information Providers.No appointment is necessary to speak with the Citizens Information Service.The Citizens Information Board is the statutory body which supports the provision of information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services. It provides the Citizens Information website, www.citizensinformation.ie and supports the voluntary network of Citizens Information Centres and the Citizens Information Phone Service 1890 777 121. It also funds and supports the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS)telephone line 1890 283 438. Governed by the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008, the Citizens Information Act 2007 and the Comhairle Act 2000, the Board comes under the remit of the Department of Social Protection. The Citizens Information Board's mandate is: to ensure that individuals have access to accurate, comprehensive and clear information relating to social services. To assist and support individuals, in particular those with disabilities, in identifying and understanding their needs and options.To promote greater accessibility, coordination and public awareness of social services. To support, promote and develop the provision of information on the effectiveness of current social policy and services and to highlight issues which are of concern to users of those services .To support the provision of, or directly provide, advocacy services for people with a disability. To support the provision of advice on personal debt and money management through the Money Advice and Budgeting Service. The Citizens Information Board supports the delivery of information through three channels: online, telephone and face-to-face. The Citizens Information website provides information on public services for the general public and information providers. The national Citizens Information Phone Service answers queries by telephone or through a variety of other channels, including email or SMS. Citizens Information Services provide a face-to-face service to the public through a network of Citizens Information Centres. Citizens Information is provided by 42 Citizens Information Services from 268 locations. They provide free, impartial and confidential information. They also produces a range of booklets and publications for various groups, including publications for older people and people with disabilities. The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is a free, independent and confidential service for people who are in debt or at risk of getting into debt. There are 53 MABS offices in Ireland. MABS services include: Helping clients to deal with debts and to make out budgets. Examining clients' incomes to make sure entitlements are not being missed .Contacting clients' creditors with offers of payment. Helping clients to decide on the best way to make payments MABS offices operate on an appointment system. You can find contact details for all the MABS offices on the MABS website.
A great new website Citizen Information at http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/ and it provides information on public services and entitlements in Ireland.It is provided by the Citizens Information Board.It is classified under 14 headings: social welfare, employment, eduation and training, travel and recreation, housing, moving country, money and tax, family and relationships, health and justice, consumer affairs, death and bereavement, government in Ireland and environment.Under social welfare such topics are discussed like: Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, Jobseeker's Allowance, Child Benefit, Rent Supplement, One Parent Family Payment, Family Income Supplement and Disability Allowance.Under Employment such topics included are: Minimum rates of pay, Annual leave, Public holidays, Maternity leave, Redundancy payments, Starting a business, Work permits, Sick leave and sick pay, and Retiring from work.On educational and training their advice included:Early Childhood Care and Education, School terms, Financial help with going to school, Special needs education, Leaving Certificate, and Grants for third-level students.Travel and recreational topics addressed include: Applying for an Irish passport, Full driving licence, Motor tax, European Health Insurance Card, Change of vehicle ownership, Penalty points, and Disabled person's parking permit.Some of the Money and Tax items discussed include:Budget 2012, How your income tax is calculated, Universal Social Charge (USC), Capital Acquisitions Tax, Employment and tax, Taxation and medical expenses.the family and relationships area explore: Registering a marriage, Registering a civil partnership, Registering a birth, Adoption, Children and rights, Separation agreements, Maintenance, and Family Mediation Service.The health topics examined are: Medical cards, GP Visit Cards, Drugs payment scheme, Dental services, Nursing Homes Support Scheme, Community care services, and Caring for a child with a disability.Under justice category: Police Certificate, Probate Office, Commissioners for Oaths, Courts system, Small Claims Court, Legal aid and advice, Public order offences, Leaving prison, An Garda Síochána are explored.The Consumer Affairs section look at : your consumer rights, how to make a consumer complaint, buying a used car, television licences, electricity services, Consumer Price Index and financial regulation.The Death and bereavement section examines the following topics: Making a will, When someone dies in Ireland, Registering a death, bereavement counselling services, what happens the deceased's estate and money matters after a death.The Government in Ireland looks at :registering to vote, presidential election in Ireland, Dáil Éireann, Departments of State, European Union, Local authorities and proportional representation.Finally, the environmental section gives advice on :noise regulations, control of dogs, litter law in Ireland, water supply, water charges, waste from electrical and electronic equipment, domestic refuse services and landfill sites.They maintain microsites on keepingyourhome.ie, losingyourjob.ie and selfemployedsupports.ie.Documents are not only available in Irish and English but also in Polish, Romanian and French.It also contains voluntary and commuity news with such entries as: applying for back to school and footwear allowance, healthy eating or switching over to digital tv.The online database heraldes the start of a new era in the delivery of a seamless and customer friendly national information, rights and entitlements awareness service to the public.Minister Brennan described it as a "New One Brand Information Services Designed To Meet Needs & Challenges Of Expanding And Diverse 21st Century Ireland".You can phone the Citizens Advice nationally at 1890 777 121.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) is Ireland’s leading independent human rights watchdog, which monitors, educates and campaigns in order to secure full enjoyment of human rights for everyone.The ICCL is an entirely independent organisation and does not rely on government support or funding.Founded in 1976 by Mary Robinson and others, the ICCL has played a leading role in some of Ireland’s most successful human rights campaigns. These have included campaigns to establish an independent Garda Ombudsman Commission, legalise the right to divorce, secure more effective protection of children’s rights, decriminalise homosexuality and introduce enhanced equality legislation. Since 1976 the ICCL has tirelessly lobbied the State to ensure the full implementation in Ireland of international human rights standards.Thye provide information on resources and services.They can be contacted at:Irish Council for Civil Liberties,
9-13 Blackhall Place,Dublin 7.You can phone at +353-1-799 4504 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Consumer Agency is here to help, with free and expert information on consumer rights and personal finance.They represent the voice of the consumer, defending consumer interests at the highest levels of national and local decision-making. They provide you with information about your consumer rights and personal finance. They help you to manage your money, with useful tools and information to help you get the most from your money and help you make smart decisions.They have responsibility for market surveillance in respect of the safety of a wide range of non-food consumer products. Our roles in relation to product safety include enforcing product safety legislation, investigating complaints about unsafe products, carrying out surveillance activities, alerting consumers about unsafe products, advising manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and their representative bodies about their responsibilities and managing Ireland’s input to the EU product safety rapid alert system, RAPEX.They have a Disability Liaison Officer who acts as a point of contact for individual with disabilities. They are committed to providing this service and aim to ensure that all their services and facilities are accessible to all their customers.They can be contacted on their helpline on Lo-call 1890 432 432.You can also write to them at the National Consumer Agency,4 Harcourt Road,Dublin 2.
The Consumers’ Association of Ireland is a registered charity.The Association also concentrates on special areas. Through its monthly publication Consumer Choice it reports on services and any other area of consumer interest, including: food and food safety,product performance, finance and financial products,environment and health issues, consumer rights and how to safeguard these rights.It provides information on your rights and how to make complaints.Consumer Choice is the magazine that helps you, the consumer to:get value for money when buying goods and services,know your consumer rights and help you be informed about matters affecting you as a consumer.It is located at 43-44 Chelmsford Road,Ranelagh,Dublin 6.You can telephone them at 01 – 497 8600,e-mail them at : email@example.com or log on to their website at http://www.thecai.ie.
The Legal Aid Board is responsible for the national provision of legal aid and advice on matters of civil law to persons unable to fund such services from their own resources.As of October 1st 2011, the Legal Aid Board will also assume the responsibility for the administration of the Garda Station Legal Advice Scheme from Courts Policy Division in the Department of Justice.They can be contacted by telephone at LoCall: 1890 615 200 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.It's local office is located at Popes Quay Law Centre,Northquay House,Popes Quay,Cork. They are many services: voluntary and state agencies in Ireland providing us with information and to protect our rights.To access these and other ones, one can do an internet search or visit your local library where the librarian will help you find the relevant documents or online websites you need.
The Office of the Ombudsman is helping to achieve a public service which is open, fair and accountable. An ombudsman investigates complaints from members of the public who feel they have been unfairly treated by certain organizations His/her office is impartial and independent. If he/she finds a complaint is justified he/she will take steps to secure redress for the complainant. There are many different kinds of ombudsmen. Some investigate complaints about government while others investigate about particular industries, for example, banks and insurance companies. The Office of the Ombudsman investigates complaints about the administrative actions of Government Departments, the Health Service Executive, local authorities and An Post. The Office of the Ombudsman is open between 9.15 and 5.30 Monday to Thursday and 9.15 to 5.15 on Friday. It is located at:18 Lr. Leeson Street, Dublin 2.You can telephone them at 01-639 5600 or Lo-call: 1890 223030 or email: email@example.com.
Causes Annette Dunlea Supports
The National Council of The Blind, Ireland