A local TD is hitting out at the loss of the service.
The closure of a Westmeath social welfare office is "tearing the heart out of rural Ireland".
They're the words of Meath-West TD Johnny Guirke, as the local office in Castlepollard closes its doors today.
The building holds its lease until February 2023, but the retirement of the branch manager has expedited the closing process.
The Sinn Féin deputy says travelling elsewhere to avail of these services isn't an option for most people:
However, in a statement to Midlands 103, the Department of Social Protection says the continued provision of Social Welfare services to Castlepollard is a high priority. It says interim arrangements are being put in place locally.
The full statement reads:
The Department of Social Protection has been notified that the Branch Office in Castlepollard is due to close with effect from Friday, 8th April 2022. The Castlepollard office is run by a Branch manager who for extenuating circumstances is no longer able to continue.
The continued provision of Social Welfare services to Castlepollard customers is a high priority and the Department is working to put interim arrangements in place for the Castlepollard office.
In the meantime customers can continue to access supports online and also in-person from the Departments offices in Blackhall, Mullingar.
The Department will have a notice in the existing premises to advise customers of the closure and those affected can contact our Intreo Centre in Mullingar by phone (044) 9350921 or by emailing email@example.com.