West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin raises objections to Benefit appeals location

Published: 19 November, 2012

Sinn Féin councillor Marty McColgan has raised his objection to benefit appeals sessions being held in Omagh courthouse. He described the setting of the appeals as being 'totally inappropriate'.

Speaking on the issue the Sinn Féin councillor said:

"With such a backlog of appeal cases the Appeals Service have been using different venues but I believe Omagh courthouse is not a good venue.

"I think it is very unsuitable, especially for people under stress after getting their benefits maybe deducted or taken off them or attending a hearing to decide that. Some of these people are suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, depression and a lot of them are disabled.

Omagh courthouse is particularly difficult because of where it is situated at the top of a hill with little parking. Certainly i would be concerned if this was going to continue. It is a stressful time and there is something about a court house setting that makes it more intimidatory. I intend to raise this issue of concern with DSD Minister Alex Attwood to try and address it to a satisfactory conclusion.