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Visit of Minister Mary Hanafin to Citizens Info Centre, Thurles

The volunteers and  staff of Thurles Citizen’s Information Centre were delighted to welcome Mary Hanafin, Minister for Social and Family Affairs to Thurles on Friday 26th September.

Mary Guilfoyle is the Organiser in the centre and told the Minister that Thurles CIC is in existence since 1975. Originally it was based in the Community Social Services building in Rossa St. but had moved to Croke Street in 2002.

At present there are 13 volunteers with a combination of 183 years experience of giving out information, who work alongside five staff funded through Citizen’s Information Board and three staff who work in the Research and Publications Company.

The CIC is open five days per week and also offers a service on Thursday evenings, which facilitates people who cannot access the service during the day. This includes the monthly Free Legal Advice service, which is offered with the support of a panel of six solicitors.  In addition Thurles CIC provides outreach services on rights and entitlements on request to many different groups.

The query totals show that service in Thurles CIC is constantly expanding. In the first eight months of this year Thurles C.I.C. dealt with 9,520 queries, which is an 8% increase over the same period in 2007. Information is available on a wide range of topics including, employment, education, health, social welfare, consumer issues and family law. The Minister was informed that in recent weeks there has been a large increase in the numbers of people who are looking to find out about their rights and their options since they have become redundant.

Minister Hanafin said that she was delighted to be visiting her home town and complimented the volunteers and staff on providing an excellent service to the public.

Brenda Green a volunteer in the centre presented the Minister with two beautiful stained glass pieces, which she had crafted herself.

Thurles CIC is part of Co. Tipperary CIS, which is funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board.

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