If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Residency rule threat to vulnerable people

YOU correctly identified that difficulties exist for individuals legitimately seeking access to social welfare due to the operation of the habitual residency condition (January 25).

Focus Ireland is concerned at the growing number of people being refused social welfare payments on the basis of allegedly failing to meet this condition. As a housing and homeless charity we are particularly concerned this may put vulnerable people at risk of becoming homeless.

The habitual residency condition is a bad piece of legislation that is being applied inappropriately and inconsistently. This results in Irish citizens and legal residents being refused welfare benefits to which they are entitled.

In the first instance, Focus Ireland is calling for the proper and consistent application of the law as it currently stands. To this end, we believe more training for hard-pressed community welfare officers and other staff in the Department of Social and Family Affairs is urgently required. Focus Ireland is also calling for comprehensive reform of the habitual residency condition to be carried out as a matter of priority.

Mike Allen

Director of Advocacy

Development, Communication and Research

Focus Ireland

High Street

Dublin 8


Lifestyle

Cross rope bridges strung across the Atlantic or visit reimagining of time gone by; whatever you fancy doing, you’ll find it in Ulster.Staycations 2020: Take your pick from these great things to do in Ulster

I can’t eat anything without chilli flakes stuffed into itShape I'm In: Novelis Emma Murray

Peter Dowdall has advice on caring for these perennial favouritesLook after your peonies and they'll brighten your garden

A routine smear test picked up Eileen Rushe's cancer when she was in her early 30s. It was a long road to recovery, says Arlene Harris.In check: Why every woman must get a cervical screening test

More From The Irish Examiner