How the EU works

You can get information on how the EU works from the European Commission in Ireland. 

Your Europe Advice Service provides free and personalised advice on your rights in the EU within a week of your request. You can ask questions about any aspect of living, working or moving within the EU. You access the service by telephone or online:

If you need to discuss your case personally, you can make an appointment with the Your Europe Legal Adviser.

Polling day information

Polling at the General Election will take place on Friday 26 February 2016 and polling stations will be open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

If you are on the Register of Electors, a polling card will be sent to your home before the general election. Your polling card will include your elector number and will tell you where you can vote. You can also find out where your polling station is by contacting your local authority. Polling stations are usually in schools or other public buildings.

You do not need a polling card to vote. When you arrive at the polling station, you will be asked to state your name and address and you may be asked to prove your identity. If you are asked to prove your identity and you cannot do so, you may not be allowed to vote. If the presiding officer is satisfied in relation to your identity, your ballot paper will be stamped and handed to you.

You can read more about polling day and acceptable forms of identification (doc).

Information for farmers

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched its Schemes and Services 2014-2020 booklet.

The publication covers the various payment schemes administered by the Department, highlights important dates, covers animal health and welfare, supports for farmers, food safety controls and many other services. It also contains useful information on services available to the farming community from other Government departments.

You can access the booklet online (pdf) or contact the DAFM for a copy.

Access to polling stations

Whenever possible, polling stations are situated in buildings that are accessible to people with disabilities. Polling stations must be situated on the ground floor in all cases. If it is necessary and feasible, temporary ramps are installed to facilitate access to polling stations.

If you have difficulty gaining access to your local polling station, you can apply in writing to the returning officer – at least a week before polling day – for permission to vote at another polling station in the same constituency. The returning officer is the person responsible for the conduct of the election in your constituency. He or she will give public notice of all the polling stations in the constituency that are not accessible to wheelchair users.

In Dublin and Cork, the returning officer is the city or county sheriff, in other counties, it is the county registrar.

You can read more in the leaflet ‘Information for voters with disabilities’ on environ.ie (pdf).

 

Lead in drinking water

A new grant scheme has been set up to help households with the cost of replacing lead pipes and fittings. The grant is means-tested and can cover up to 80% of the costs of replacing lead pipes. The maximum grant payable is €4,000.

 

 Household income % of approved costs available Maximum grant available
Up to €50,000 80% €4,000
€50,001 – €75,000 50% €2,500
In excess of €75,000 No grant is payable No grant is payable

 

Find out more from the Department of the Environment. 

 

Information and updates on the Zika virus

Zika is a viral infection that usually causes a mild illness that typically lasts between 2 to 7 days. Zika is spread by mosquitoes. Eighty percent of people who become infected by Zika virus have no symptoms. However infection with Zika virus has been strongly linked with a serious birth condition called microcephaly. Microcephaly means a baby born with an unusually small head. In these cases, the baby’s brain may not have formed properly during pregnancy. Cases of a neurological illness (called Guillain Barre Syndrome) possibly caused by Zika virus infection are also being studied.

You can visit the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HPSC) for further information on the Zika Virus Infection, including affected countries and FAQs.  

Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website to get advice on travelling to areas where Zika has been reported. 

Today is Safer Internet Day

This year the theme for the Day is “Play your part for a better internet”. The Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues such as cyber bullying. In Ireland, events will take place in 470 schools involving over 50,000 pupils.

Full information, as well as a series of useful resources aimed at young people, parents and schools, is available on the Safer Internet Day Ireland website.

Closing dates for supplemental registers

The general election will be held on Thursday 26 February 2016. You can use checktheregister.ie to check that your name is on the Register of Electors in your local authority. If you are not on the Register of Electors you can add your name to a supplemental register.

Friday, 5 February 2016 is the closing date for your local authority to receive an application for entry to the Supplement to the Postal or Special voters list for the general election.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016 is the closing date for your local authority to receive an application for entry to the Supplement to the Register of Electors for the general election.

Find out more about voting in an election.