Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
Broke From Books
BALBRIGGAN Town Council is to write to the Department of Education appealing for help for hard-pressed parents crippled by the cost of schoolbooks.
The issue was raised by Councilor Monica Harford, who proposed a motion saying, “Balbriggan Town Council calls on the Department of Education to review the current method whereby people are faced with extremely high costs to provide schoolbooks for school-going children of all ages by introducing a system that will ease the burden somewhat.
Harford said that back to school costs were “crippling people,” and that the allowances already available for vulnerable families were “nowhere near what's needed.”
She also expressed frustration at constant changes to school books that made them impossible to hand down or sell on, a point that speaker of the town council, Larry Dunne, a teacher himself, agreed with. The town council agreed to send a letter to the Department of Education on the issue.
No Help for Disabled Man
A MALLOW man has claimed he was all but told he would have to develop cancer before he would qualify for an invalidity pension.
Liam Drew from Gortroe, Lombardstown already suffers from a heart condition, asthma, diabetes, partial blindness and deep vein thrombosis. He's been unable to work since 2008.
However, his application for an invalidity payment was turned down in 2008, and four years later he is still waiting for his appeal to be processed.
Drew, who is currently awaiting the results of a biopsy to see if he has skin cancer, said he was told by a social welfare official that a letter from his doctor confirming he had cancer would strengthen his case for an invalidity payment.
"To me that is an absolute disgrace," said Drew.
Drew, 54, suffers from a number of debilitating conditions, including blindness in his right eye (the result of a childhood accident), asthma, type 2 diabetes, deep vein thrombosis and myocardial infarction, which resulted in him suffering a heart attack in 2009.
A former construction worker, he has been unable to work since 2008. Since then he has been receiving his sick pay entitlement under certification, which currently stands at €60 per week.
His 2008 application for an invalidity payment was initially refused and he said that his appeal to that decision is still under review. Drew claimed he was given no reason for the initial refusal.
To make matters worse, Drew had to return to his doctor in recent weeks with lesions on his face and is currently awaiting the result of a biopsy to see if he has skin cancer.
Drew returned to the social welfare office to explain his situation and was given a form to apply for a disability payment of up to €188 per week, despite the fact that his earlier appeal for an invalidity payment was still under review.
He claimed he was then contacted by an official who said that if he could get a letter from his doctor saying he had skin cancer it would strengthen his case for getting an invalidity payment.
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