Cancer screening

The CervicalCheck programme has set up a helpline for women concerned about previous smear tests.

If you would like to speak to someone, you can call this Freephone number 1800 45 45 55 from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday.

You can also read Questions and Answers from CervicalCheck.

Summer education

The July Provision Programme funds an extended school year for children with certain learning disabilities or an autism spectrum disorder. The scheme funds both school-based and home-based tuition.

You can apply for home-based tuition for your child by completing an application form (pdf) and returning it to the Department of Education and Skills.  You should read this information note (pdf) before applying.

The deadline for applications is Friday 18 May 2018. Applications received on or before Friday 4 May 2018 will be given priority.

Maritime passengers’ rights

EU Regulation No. 1177/2012 (pdf) protects the rights of passengers travelling by sea or inland waterway.

The Regulation provides that passengers affected by cancellations are entitled to either:

  • An alternative sailing at the earliest opportunity, under comparable conditions and at no additional cost, or
  • A full refund

You should contact your travel provider in the first instance. If you’re unhappy with their response, you can make a complaint to the National Transport Authority.

Read more about passengers’ rights in our document or in this information note (pdf) from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Voting by post in the referendum on 25 May

If you cannot vote at your local polling station because of work, or because you are studying full-time somewhere else in Ireland, you can still apply to vote by post.

To be eligible, you must already be registered to vote on the current Register of Electors.

Download form PVS2 (pdf) from checktheregister.ie, fill in your details and ask your employer or college to fill out the appropriate certificate on the form. (There are detailed instructions on the form.)

You must get the completed form to your local authority by Saturday 28 April 2018.

Electric vehicles – financial incentives

A new scheme will offer drivers of electric vehicles reduced rates on certain toll roads from summer 2018.

Under the scheme, electric vehicles using an electronic toll tag will get a discount of either 50% (battery electric vehicles) or 25% (plug-in hybrid vehicles) on selected tolls until 2022.

Other incentives include grant support for new purchasesrelief on Vehicle Registration Tax and help with the cost of installing a home charger.

Read more about electric vehicles on seai.ie.

Are you registered to vote? – there’s still time to register if not

You can use checktheregister.ie to see if you’re registered to vote.

If not, you can still apply to be registered in time for the upcoming referendum. Your application must reach your local authority by the right closing date.

The closing date for the supplement to the main Register of Electors is Tuesday 8 May 2018.

The closing date for the supplement to the Special Voters List or the supplement to the Postal Voters List is Saturday 28 April 2018.

Application forms are available on checktheregister.ie.

Know Your Rights: Renewing a passport

Question

I have a valid passport, but it will expire two weeks before I go on holiday. Will two weeks give me enough time to get a new one?

Answer (March 2018)

You don’t have to wait until your passport expires to renew it. However, if you apply for a new passport before your current one expires, your new passport is valid from when you apply, rather than from when your previous passport expires.

The website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, dfa.ie, lists the current average processing times for different types of passport applications. The quickest way to renew your passport is by using the online application service. You can use this service to renew your passport if it expires any time in the next 12 months.

You must submit a digital photo with your online application. You can get a friend to take your photo with a digital camera or smartphone or you can go to a photo provider, for example a pharmacy or a photographer, who will give you a copy of your digital photo to upload. Alternatively, you can go to one of the Irish photo booth services listed on passportphoto.ie, which will take your photo and provide you with a code. If you enter this code when applying for your passport online, you don’t need to upload the photo yourself.

Online renewal isn’t available for children’s passports, so if you want to renew your family’s passports together, you have to use Passport Express, the postal application service. There is an extra charge of €9.50 per application for using Passport Express. However, if you are renewing passports for the whole family you can use the ‘Family Application’ option for €16, where up to four passport applications can be sent in one envelope. Alternatively, you can renew your own passport online and use Passport Express to renew any passports for children.