Fireworks and the law

Fireworks can be very dangerous. There are ciminal penalties for possessing, lighting, throwing or selling illegal fireworks.

Some types of fireworks, known as category 1 fireworks, can be sold for use by the general public. A category 1 firework is one which presents a very low hazard and negligible noise level and which is intended for use in confined areas, including indoors.

Find out more about the law on fireworks.

Read the fireworks information notice on the Department of Justice and Equality website.

#allaboutjobs

#allaboutjobs has been established to provide information about what the Government is doing, and to raise awareness of the schemes and supports that are available to tackle unemployment and support job creation.The Government’s work is set out in two documents – Pathways to Work and the Action Plan for Jobs.

Visit the #allaboutjobs section on merrionstreet.ie to get news and other useful information on job creation, supports for employers and unemployed people.

October bank holiday – public holiday entitlements

Monday 26 October is a public holiday. There are 9 public holidays in Ireland each year. Most full-time and part-time employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays. One exception is part-time employees who have not worked for their employer at least 40 hours in total in the 5 weeks before the public holiday.

Employees who qualify for public holiday benefit are entitled to one of the following:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • An additional day of annual leave
  • An additional day’s pay
  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday

You can ask your employer which of these options applies to you at least 20 days before the public holiday.  If your employer fails to respond at least 14 days before the public holiday, you are entitled to take the actual public holiday as a paid day off.

You can find out more about your public holiday entitlements from workplacerelations.ie. 

Know your rights: Funding for college // Maoiniú le haghaidh Coláiste

Question

I’m unemployed and thinking about going to college. What funding is available for this?

Answer (October 2015)

Most undergraduate students attending publicly funded third-level courses for the first time will qualify for the Free Fees Initiative. You must meet criteria as regards residence, nationality and immigration status, as well as course requirements. If you qualify for free fees you do not have to pay tuition fees. There is a separate Student Contribution, which you pay to the college.

The student grant is the main financial support for students. The grant can cover all or part of your fees (if they are not already covered), the Student Contribution and provide some maintenance. To qualify for a grant, you and your course must meet certain criteria and you must pass a means test.

The Back to Education Allowance is available to people who have been getting certain social welfare payments for a set period of time before starting their course. You cannot get a Back to Education Allowance and the maintenance portion of a student grant at the same time. If you are eligible for both, you should find out which would be of more benefit to you.

The Free Fees Initiative, the student grant and the Back to Education Allowance all have rules regarding progression from previous studies. However, there are exceptions. If you intend to start a course at a level you have studied before, you should check out whether the rules on progression apply to your situation.

If you do not qualify for the Free Fees Initiative or the student grant you should find out whether Springboard can help you to return to education. Springboard provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed.

If you have to pay tuition fees and a Student Contribution, you may qualify for tax relief. You can find out more about sources of funding, including the Student Assistance Fund for students experiencing financial hardship, on studentfinance.ie.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Táim dífhostaithe agus ag smaoineamh ar freastal ar choláiste. Cén maoiniú atá ar fáil dó seo?

Freagra

Bíonn formhór mac léinn fochéime atá ag freastal ar chúrsaí tríú leibhéal arna maoiniú poiblí don chéad uair incháilithe don Tionsnamh Saor Ó Tháillí.

Ní mór duit critéir a chomhlíonadh maidir le stádas cónaithe, náisiúntachta agus inimirce, chomh maith le riachtanais an chúrsa. Má cháilíonn tú le haghaidh táillí saor in aisce ní bheidh ort táillí teagaisc a íoc. Tá Rannaíocaíocht Mac Léinn ar leith ann a íocann tú leis an gcoláist.

Is é an deontas mac léinn an príomhthacaíocht atá ann do mhic léinn. Clúdaíonn an deontas seo do chuid táillí go léir nó cuid de do tháillí (mura bhfuil siad clúdaithe cheana féin), an Ranníocaíocht Mac Léinn agus roinnt cothabhála. D’fhonn cáiliú do dheontas, ní mór duit féin agus do chúrsa roinnt critéar a chomhlíonadh agus caithfidh tú tástáil acmhainne a phasáil.

Tá an Liúntas um Fhilleadh ar Oideachas ar fáil do dhaoine a bhfuil íocaíochtaí leasa shóisialaigh ar leith á bhfáil acu ar feadh tréimhse shocraithe ama sula dtosaíonn siad ar a gcúrsa. Ní féidir leat an Liúntas um Fhilleadh ar Oideachas agus an chuid chothabhála den deontas mac léinn a fháil ag an am céanna. Má tá tú incháilithe don dá cheann, ba chóir duit a fháil amach cé acu ag a mbeadh an tairbhe is mó.

Tá rialacha maidir le dul chun cinn ón staidéar atá déanta agat cheana ag baint leis an Tionscnamh Saor ó Tháillí, an deontas mac léinn agus an Liúntas um Fhilleadh ar Oideachas. Tá eisceachtaí ann, áfach. Má tá sé beartaithe agat tús a chur le cúrsa ag leibhéal ina ndearna tú staidéar cheana, ní mór duit a sheiceáil cibé an mbaineann na rialacha i ndáil le dul chun cinn le d’imthosca nó nach mbaineann.

Mura bhfuil tú cáilithe don Tionscnamh Saor ó Tháillí nó don deontas mac léinn ba cheart duit a fháil amach cibé an féidir le Springboard cabhrú leat filleadh ar oideachas nó nach féidir. Cuireann Springboard cúrsaí ardoideachais ar fáil do dhaoine atá dífhostaithe.

Má bhíonn ort táillí teagaisc agus Ranníocaíocht Mac Léinn a íoc, d’fhéadfá a bheith i dteideal faoisimh chánach. Is féidir leat tuilleadh a fháil amach maidir le foinsí maoinithe, lena n-áirítear an Ciste Cúnta do Mhic Léinn a chabhraíonn le mic léinn a dtagann cruatan airgeadais orthu, ag studentfinance.ie.

Water Conservation Grant – deadline tomorrow

The deadline to apply for the Water Conservation Grant is tomorrow. To receive the €100 grant, eligible householders must apply by midnight, Thursday 22 October 2015.

You can apply online at watergrant.ie or by calling the Water Conservation Grant Support Team on 1890 100 043 or 0761 087 890.

The telephone lines for enquiries on the Water Conservation Grant are open as normal from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on Wednesday, 21 October and they will remain open on Thursday, 22 October from 9.00 am until midnight.

Read more in our document. 

October mid-term break

All schools will close from Monday 26 October 2015 to Friday 30 October 2015 inclusive for half-term.

Schools are required to be open for a minimum of 167 days at post-primary level and 183 days at primary level.

The dates for the start and the end of the school year at both primary and post-primary level are not fixed. However, due to the start of certificate exams, post-primary schools are usually not open for tuition after the Friday before the June public holiday (the first Monday in June) in any year. The school year generally starts in the week in which 1 September falls.

Read more in our document on school terms. 

Know your rights: Noisy neighbours // Comharsana Callánacha

Question

Our new neighbours often have noisy parties and keep our children awake at nights. We don’t want to call the Gardaí but what else can we do?

Answer (October 2015)

Noise nuisance can be a really difficult problem, especially if your family’s sleep is disturbed. The Gardaí may ask someone to lower the noise coming from a dwelling but they do not have the power to enter a dwelling with the intention of simply asking someone to lower the noise.

There is a useful leaflet published by the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), which covers issues (including noise) that arise between neighbours. FLAC recommends that you should first talk to your neighbours about the noise and explain how it is affecting your family. Keep a note of these discussions. You can also keep a noise diary, noting type of noise, time, date and duration and its effects on your family.

If this doesn’t work, you can write to your neighbours, giving details of the noise and its effects. You may wish to suggest mediation and/or legal action if the matter cannot be resolved. Keep copies of all correspondence.

If the neighbours are tenants and you don’t get a satisfactory response from them, you can complain to the landlord – whether this is a private landlord, a local authority or a housing association.

Private tenants have an obligation not to engage in anti-social behaviour, which includes persistent noise that interferes with the peaceful occupation of other dwellings. You may complain to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) if the landlord fails to enforce this obligation.

Tenants of local authority housing are also obliged to avoid any nuisance (including noise) to the occupiers of any other dwelling. If the noise persists, the tenants are in breach of their tenancy agreement and the local authority can take steps to enforce the terms of the agreement.

If the noise continues to be a problem, you can complain to the District Court about it. You must then serve notice on your noisy neighbours, using the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 – noise form of notice. If the court finds in your favour, it can order your neighbours to take measures to prevent or limit the noise.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Bíonn cóisirí callánacha ag ár gcomharsana nua agus coinníonn siad ár leanaí ina ndúiseacht san oíche. Ní theastaíonn uainn glaoch a chur ar na Gardaí ach céard eile is féidir linn a dhéanamh?

Freagra

Is féidir le núis torainn a bheith ina fhadhb dheacair, go háirithe má chuireann sí isteach ar chodladh do theaghlach. Is féidir leis na Gardaí iarradh ar dhuine an torann atá a teacht as áit chónaithe a ísliú ach níl sé de chumhacht acu dul isteach san áit chónaithe agus é beartaithe acu díreach iarradh ar dhuine an torann a ísliú

Tá bileog eolais úsáideach foilsithe ag an Ionad Comhairle Dlí Saor in Aisce (FLAC), a chlúdaíonn saincheisteanna (lena n-áirítear torann) a eascraíonn idir comharsana. Molann FLAC gur chóir duit i dtosach báire labhairt le do chomharsana faoin torann agus míniú dóibh go bhfuil sé ag cur isteach ar do theaghlach. Coinnigh nóta de na comhráití sin. Féadfaidh tú dialann torainn a choinneáil chomh maith, ag nótáil rudaí mar an cineál torainn, am, dáta agus fad agus na héifeachtaí a bhíonn aige ar do theaghlach.

Mura n-oibríonn sé sin, féadfaidh tú scríobh chuig do chomharsana, ag tabhairt sonraí den torann agus an tionchar a bhíonn aige. B’fhéidir gur mhaith leat idirghabháil agus/nó caingean dlí a mholadh murar féidir an cheist a réiteach. Coinnigh cóipeanna de gach comhfhreagras.

Más tionóntaí do chomharsana agus mura bhfaighidh tú freagra sásúil uathu, féadfaidh tú gearán a dhéanamh leis an tiarna talún – cibé an tiarna talún príobháideach, údarás áitiúil nó cumann tithíochta atá i gceist.

Tá sé de dhualgas ar thionántaí príobháideacha gan dul i mbun iompar frithshóisialta, lena n-áirítear torann seasmhach a chuireann isteach ar chónaí síochánta in áiteanna cónaithe eile. Féadfaidh tú gearán a dhéanamh leis an mBord um Thionóntachtaí Príobháideacha Cónaithe (PTRB) mura gcuireann an tiarna talún a dhualgas i bhfeidhm.

Ceanglaítear ar thionóntaí i dtithe údaráis áitiúla aon núis (lena n-áirítear torann) a chuireann isteach ar áititheoirí aon áit chónaithe eile a sheachaint. Má leanann an torann ar aghaidh, tá na tionóntaí ag sárú a gcomhaontú tionóntachta agus féadfaidh an t-údarás áitiúil céimeanna a ghlacadh chun téarmaí an chomhaontaithe a fhorfheidhmiú.

Má bhíonn an torann ina fhadhb leanúnach, féadfaidh tú gearán a dhéanamh leis an gCúirt Dúiche faoi. Ansin beidh ort fógra a sheirbheáil ar do chomharsana callánacha, ag baint úsáide as foirm fógra torainn an Achta fán Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil 1992. Má thugann an chúirt breithiúnas i d’fhabhar, féadfaidh sí do chomharsana a ordú chun bearta a dhéanamh chun an torann a chosc nó a theorannú.