The Kafkaesque world of Irish bureaucracy


Sir, – Helen O’Rahilly’s experience of Irish bureaucracy (Weekend Review, November 30th) is familiar to me.

I applied for the carer’s allowance in October 2018, so that I could support my 90-year-old husband who has a severe heart condition, at home. It was five months before I received a reply to my application. In exquisite Dickensian language the social welfare services informed me that every applicant must “furnish” certain documents in support of their claim and stated that I had failed in this requirement.

However, at the time of application I had submitted all the certificates requested.

This was a detailed, complex and time-consuming endeavour requiring backup from my GP.

It seems to me that this system is designed to deter rather than encourage people to care for sick or elderly relatives at home. In addition, it is a form of bureaucracy that is counterproductive since it inevitably places more pressure on the State and penalises those (mainly women) who are carers. – Yours, etc,