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Citizens Information share supports available for families

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The International Day of Families is annually held on May 15 and it promotes the importance of a healthy and well-balanced family. It is a day to celebrate your family and what they mean to you.

The importance of this day and what it represents is a great opportunity to highlight some of the information, advice and support Citizens Information can provide to families.

Some of the most common queries they are receiving from families right now are;

Working Family Payment, formerly known as Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children. It gives extra financial support to those on a low income. You must be an employee to qualify for it, however those self-employed aren’t eligible to qualify for the payment. You must also have at least one child under the age of 18 who lives with you or is financially supported by you or is aged 18-22 in full-time education.

The Back to Work Family Dividend scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives financial support principally to lone parents and long-term jobseeker families with children who find or return to work. If you qualify you will still get a reduced weekly social welfare payment for up to two years.

If you qualify for either of the two payments above you may be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, which is a scheme that helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. It is open from June 1 until September 30 each year.

One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a payment for men and women under 66 who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. To get this payment you must have at least one relevant child below seven years of age, but there are exceptions to this. You must also meet other conditions and you must satisfy a means test.

Job Seekers Transitional (JST) Payment is a special arrangement under the Jobseeker’s Allowance scheme that aims to support lone parents into the workforce while they have young children. It is available to people who are not cohabiting and whose youngest child is aged between seven and 13 years inclusive.
Many also enquire about leave options for parents which may be available from their employment such as Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, Parents leave and Adoptive Leave. Each of these types of leave may also carry a possible social welfare entitlement by way of a paid benefit if certain PRSI requirements are met. Another asset to families is the One-Parent Family Payment, a payment for men and women under the age of 66 who are raising children without the support of a partner.

Another great resource to families is the Child Benefit, which is a monthly payment to the parents or guardians of children under 18, who are in full-time education or training. The payment is universal, which means that your income level and social insurance (PRSI) will not affect whether or not you’re entitled to it.

“International Day of Families is a very important date in the calendar year, it is an occasion to celebrate the importance of families, people, societies and cultures around the world," Frances Clifford, Kerry Citizens Information Manager, said. "Our goal for this day is to let every family know that we are here to advise and support them. So regardless of your query, call your local centre and we will guide you in the right direction.”

For anyone needing information, advice or who have an advocacy issue, they can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively, you can email at tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information and contact details.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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