Cllr David Doran pictured here with Deputy Michael Lowry and Minister Sean Canney.
Despite the Revenue Commissioners moving to an appointment only service at the Thurles office in Stradavoher, Sinn Fein Councillor David Doran says it is another downgrading of a very vital service for the local community.
There was much anger in Thurles and the surrounding areas last week following the news that the revenue commissioners office at Stradavoher, Thurles is to close to the public, before June.
Visitors were being told that they will have to conduct their business on-line from the summer onwards, according to Sinn Fein Councillor David Doran who told The Tipperary Star that the move was “totally unacceptable and will be fought tooth and nail.”
However, Revenue officials have this week clarified that the office will be open to customers who wish to do business face-to-face, but by appointment only.
Already the social welfare section of the Stradavoher facility has been moved to the Racecourse Road where a new office was opened recently, and while there is no threat to the employees jobs in the revenue commissioners section, there will be no general public access to the office, which means that anyone having any query will have to log their details on-line or over the telephone line. Or, make an appointment.
A statement issued to The Tipperary Star by the Revenue Commissioners states: “Revenue will provide an appointment service in the Thurles Office. This means that those customers who wish to visit the office to do their business with Revenue in person/ face-to-face, will be facilitated with a appointment at an agreed time and will no longer have to queue.”
However, Cllr Doran has responded to this and said that while the by-appointment move is welcome it is stillmunacceptable to close the doors to the general public.
“In my view this is still a depletion of the services being provided by the excellent staff in the office. The office was open from 9:30am - 1:00pm Monday to Friday, and this was already a downgrading of the service as is used to be open all day. I would not be happy with the Revenue decision to go by appointment only and I am speaking from personal experience and from what I have witnessed in the office,” Cllr Doran said.
The Sinn Feil councillor has tabled a Parliamentary question in Dail Eireann on Thursday in relation to this downgrading of the service through party spokesman Pearse Doherty and Cllr Doran has called on the Tipperary TD's to back him in his call to have the office run as it currently is.
“I hope that the Tipperary TD's will back me through this question because when the service is gone, it will never come back again. Now is the time to support my call - there is no point in whinging about it when the doors close.
“This is a very valuable service in Thurles for the many people who use it and we should all be jumping up and down in protest at this move by Revenue,” Cllr Doran said this week.
There is a lot of disquiet amongst staff members in the office, amongst the general public as a result of the move by the Revenue Commissioners and all the indications are that the doors will close to the general public before June of this year.
The office is one of the busiest in the region with people coming from all over to do their business and ensure that their affairs are in order.