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Charity's €400 bill as Dail refuses letters delivered by hand

A CHARITY was forced to spend €400 on stamps when Leinster House officials wouldn't accept hand deliveries for bureaucratic reasons.

The situation was described as "ridiculous" by the Integration Centre charity, which had wanted to save money by delivering copies of its new report themselves rather than sending them by post.

Killian Forde, the charity's chief executive, told the Herald they brought two boxes of 216 envelopes addressed to Dail and Seanad members.

However, when they arrived at the front gates, security staff refused to take delivery of the letters. "They said no and told us we would have to post them," said Mr Forde, who is a former Labour councillor.

A personal assistant of Dublin South Central TD Eric Byrne (Lab) was then permitted to bring the group into the Leinster House postal room.

"But a guy in the post room said he couldn't accept them for health and safety reasons," Mr Forde said.



nuts

They were told the letters had to have stamps. "It made no sense what they were saying," the chief executive added.

The only concession made was that the charity could hand deliver six envelopes a day, meaning it would have taken 36 working days to complete the task. In the end, they decided they had no choice but to pay for the postal costs.

"We were just baffled at the ridiculous rules and the lack of flexibility. Government needs to be open at all levels. We're now spending a week trying to send them out. It just seems nuts," said Mr Forde, adding the situation was "Kafkaesque".

"Maybe this is the Government's way of keeping An Post in profit," he quipped.

The centre launched the report, the Roadmap To Integration, on October 17 last in Buswells Hotel beside Leinster House on Kildare Street before trying to deliver the documents.

A spokeswoman for the Oireachtas told the Herald they did not accept "bulk post". Without commenting on the individual case, she said members of the public were allowed deliver letters to the TDs in their constituencies. However, anything more than that would have to be posted.



bunches



Larger bunches of letters will not be accepted.

Mr Forde, a former Sinn Fein councillor who defected to Labour, quit Dublin City Council earlier this year to take up the chief executive role.

The charity, based on Dame Street, is a non-governmental organisation aimed at helping the integration and inclusion of immigrants in Ireland.

comurphy@herald.ie