It’s a good idea to stay in touch with your representatives. These are your city councillors, county councillors, Teachta Dálaí (TDs), and Senators. They are elected to represent you and your community as their constituents.
They will be able to help you in different ways, such as:
- asking questions on your behalf in the council chamber, the Dáil, or the Seanad;
- ensuring that public services and facilities in your constituency are accessible;
- meeting constituency members and groups to address problems together;
- raising issues that are important to you at a local and national level, and;
- helping out with social welfare payments.
Your elected representatives are public servants. There is no charge for their services and representation on your behalf.
How do I contact my public representative?
Your representative’s contact details can be found on their newsletters that they will post out to their constituents from time to time. Their contact details will usually include their:
- phone number;
- email address;
- office address;
- social media account, and;
You can search for your representative’s details online too. If they are city or county councillors, you can search your local Council’s website for their names.
If they are a TD or a Senator, you can simply search their names and you will be directed to their personal website. Alternatively, you can search for their names on the Houses of the Oireachtas’ website.
If they are a member of a political party, you can visit their party’s website and they will also have their contact details.
How can I meet with my public representative?
Most public representatives will host advice or constituency clinics at least once a week. They are usually at their offices, but they can also take place at local community centres.
Most public representatives will say when and where their clinics are taking place in their newsletters or online.
You can arrange to meet your representative during these clinics. Some can meet you at any time, but most will only meet by appointment only, which means you will need to arrange a time and date with their office.
Alternatively, you can email or write to your representative. Some people prefer doing this, as it allows them to explain their concerns out in full and in writing. In fact, because email is so common nowadays, many representatives will do much of their constituency work online.
When can I expect to hear back from my public representative?
Public representatives receive a huge number of correspondence from their constituents every week. They may not be able to respond to you as quickly as you may need.
Be patient when engaging with them. Always make sure that you explain your issue in as much detail as possible when first contacting them.