Munster: Driving Test Centre in Drogheda, Demand Surge Expected

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has said that she is “seriously annoyed and disappointed” that the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has yet to authorise a driving test centre for Drogheda, despite lengthy waiting lists in County Louth and no driving test service at all being currently available in the town.

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport welcomed news that a new driving test centre is expected to open in Dundalk next year, but queried the wisdom of investing in another driver test centre in Dundalk when Drogheda has none at all. Does Drogheda not feature in their business plan at all?

Deputy Munster said:

“I welcome any measures to improve services in Louth. It’s important that service provision is balanced and fair, however, and I have serious concerns that Drogheda is continuously overlooked.”

“I have asked the RSA on numerous occasions to provide a driving test centre in Drogheda, and I am repeatedly told that they have no plans to do so.”

“I find this hard to understand when you take the waiting lists into consideration. In June I received a response to a PQ which showed that people in Louth are waiting up to 15 weeks for a driving test, with an average wait time of 11 weeks.”

“The figures show that 1229 people are still awaiting a test. These figures do not include those customers already scheduled for a test or those who have made it known that they are not available for a test.”

“These figures show a clear need for additional services in the county. We have had an unacceptably long backlog for many months now, and with new legislation to be introduced for learner drivers numbers are expected to increase.”

“I will once again be contacting and calling on the RSA to reconsider the establishment of a test centre in Drogheda to cope with demand. I am looking for an explanation as to why they continue to ignore Drogheda.”

Reports of €35 charge for ‘free’ smear tests: Munster

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today expressed fury at reports from women in the Louth area who have been told that the free smear tests promised by Simon Harris in the wake of the Cervical Check scandal will cost up to €85 if women elect to have their smear tests analysed in this state, rather than outsourced to American labs.

Deputy Munster said:

“I received calls today from women in my constituency who were outraged to learn from their GPs this week that they would have to pay €85 for a repeat smear test, despite claims made by Ministers Simon Harris and Regina Doherty that free smear tests would be available for all women who had concerns about the Cervical Check scandal and wished to take an additional test.”

“In cases where women choose for their lab work to be carried out in this state, they have been asked to pay €50 for a GP visit and €35 for the smear test.”

“For reasons that must be obvious even to the government since Vicky Phelan went public with her story, many women in Ireland have lost confidence in the outsourcing of lab tests to the United States, and would prefer that their tests be carried out at home.”

“It is disingenuous of Simon Harris to announce that these repeat tests are free, when in fact they are not”.

“It is clear that despite all the hurt, damage, and deaths that this scandal has caused, that the government has learned absolutely nothing.”

“After all that’s happened the government should arrange to have free smear tests carried out and tested in Ireland. It’s the least they could do.”