OFFALY County Councillor Molly Buckley has called for a review of the selection and appointment of all polling booth and count centre staff following the recent General Election.
“Before the election people contacted me and I referred them to the County Registrar,” said Cllr Buckley who said she was sure the office was inundated with concerns. She suggested what was needed was a “transparent” system where staff were advertised for, interviewed and told how much they would be getting. “The whole system is unclear as to how they are selected. I was told consideration would be given to the unemployed.”
Cllr Buckley felt if the County Registrar looked at advertising for, and interviewing and training candidates it would help allay concerns.
“I would ask that this motion be sent to all councils throughout Ireland,” she said adding that a lot of people didn’t know about checking they were on the register as ‘field staff aren’t there anymore’.
Cllr Buckley said while the work was done well by the people who did the count, “If I do a project I sit down afterwards and evaluate it, about what went well and what didn’t. Maybe some issues here would come to light.”
Cllr Tommy McKeigue said he wanted to meet with the County Registrar as there were difficulties in some sections and good work in others.
“There was a lot of disappointment it took so long. There was a big break when the recount took place. No communication was made to the people. Maybe we can be of help to her and iron out some things that happened,” pointed out Cllr McKeigue.
Cllr Percy Clendennen said there was a big problem in the Birr area as people were applying to the County Registrar in Offaly when they should have been applying in North Tipperary.
“The census was advertised, people were interviewed and they knew what they were getting,” added Cllr Buckley.