PEOPLE in parts of Limerick city eligible to receive the new Public Services Card have been sent to register at the Kilmallock social welfare office, following a technical error in Dublin.
The Department of Social Protection wrote to residents of the Ballinacurra Road, Ballinacurra Gardens and Ballinacurra Weston advising them they would need to attend a face-to-face meeting to get their new card.
But instead of sending them to the Dominic Street social welfare office, they were asked to travel 18 miles away from the city.
Local Fine Gael councillor Cllr Maria Byrne, who was made aware of the letter, discovered the problem had been caused by an automated GPS address tracker, which identified Ballinacurra as a tiny townland near Kilmallock.
Residents of the Kilmallock Road were also inadvertently sent into the county.
She said: “What happened originally was one gentleman rang me first of all, who is in his 70s. He is okay and still mobile, but was speaking to one or two of his neighbours who are dependent on public transport. We rang social welfare, and they informed us these letters were sent using a GPS system from Dublin, and obviously they put in Ballinacurra, and this threw up Kilmallock.”
Cllr Byrne has written to the Social Protection Minister Joan Burton and has received an acknowledgement from her.
She has asked the Department of Social Protection to arrange to have the letters re-sent to city people to send them to Limerick’s Dominic Street office.
But if people want to rearrange the appointment themselves, they should telephone 061-212200.