Know your rights July 2015

Know Your Rights A:

GP visit cards for children aged under six

July 2015


I’ve heard that young children can now visit the doctor for free but that they have to get a GP visit card. How do I get a card for my child?


From 1 July 2015, children under the age of six are entitled to free visits to a GP (family doctor) that is taking part in the free GP care for children under six scheme. All children aged under six who live in Ireland or who intend to live in Ireland for at least one year are eligible.

To get a GP visit card for children aged under six, you must register your child. To register, you will need:
• Your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)
• The PPSN of each child
• Your choice of participating GP

You are sent your child’s PPSN when you register their birth. If you do not have a PPSN for your child, contact Client Identity Services in the Department of Social Protection on Lo-call 1890 927 999 or email If your baby is under two months of age and you don’t have a PPSN yet, you can register and leave the PPSN blank and the HSE will write to you separately to get it.

You can get a list of GPs who are taking part in the scheme at The list also tells you whether your chosen GP accepts online registrations. If they do, you can apply online at If a GP doesn’t accept online registrations, or if you prefer to use a paper form, you can download the registration form from, bring it to the GP to sign, and then send it to: GP Visit Card – Under 6s, PO Box 12629, Dublin 11.

Your child will be included in this scheme until the end of the month of their sixth birthday. The expiry date is shown on the card. You will be notified approximately three months before it is due to expire.

The card covers free GP visits, including home visits and out of hours, urgent GP care. It does not cover visits to hospital emergency departments.

If you have any questions about registering for the scheme, you can phone Lo-call 1890 252 919.


Know Your Rights B:


July 2015


What is the new Eircode?


In 2015 all residential and business addresses in Ireland will be given a unique new Eircode. Residential addresses include every address where post is delivered. Individual Eircodes will be given to each house on a street, each flat in an apartment block, both units in a duplex unit and each house in a rural townland. Eircodes will also be given to commercial addresses such as office buildings, shops, bars, hospitals and public buildings and each unit in a shopping centre or business park.

An Eircode is a unique seven-character alpha numeric code. Each Eircode will consist of a three-digit Routing Key which will identify the area and a four-character Unique Identifier for each address. For example: A65 F4E2

The Routing Key is the first three digits of an Eircode. The first character will always be a letter, followed by two numbers (except for D6W). The letters are not linked to a county or city name – except for postal districts in Dublin which will have their current post codes transferred into a Routing Key format such as D03, D12, D15, D22. The same Routing Key will be shared by several towns and townlands.

The Unique Identifier is a group of four digits and comes after the Routing Key. Each Unique Identifier is different and unique to your home or premises. They are not in sequence. This is to avoid the situation where a new building is created between two existing ones, and the code sequence would be broken, requiring all Eircodes in the area to be changed.

You do not need to change your address, an Eircode is simply added to the end of your address. The use of Eircode is not mandatory, however, it is likely that organisations will ask you for your Eircode, especially those delivering goods or services to your address.

You will be sent a letter in July 2015 informing you of the Eircode for your address and how to use it. Following the launch of Eircode in early July, you can also find or check an Eircode using the Eircode Finder which will be available at

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.


Know Your Rights C:

Bringing a dog into Ireland

July 2015


I am moving back to Ireland after living in France for some years. Am I allowed to bring my dog with me?


There are strict controls about importing pets into Ireland to ensure that diseases such as rabies are not introduced. The EU system of Passports for Pets allows cats, dogs and ferrets to travel between EU member states.

If you are moving to Ireland or coming on holiday (or any other non-commercial movement where there is no sale or change of ownership) you may bring your dog with you. Your dog must have an EU Pet Passport. These are available from private veterinary practices.

The Passport certifies that the pet is travelling from an eligible country, is identified by an implanted microchip and has been vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel.

Dogs coming from countries other than the UK, Finland or Malta must be treated against tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before travel. The time and date of treatment are entered on the passport. Treatment for ticks is not compulsory but it is advisable to get it at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.

Airlines registered with the Department may choose to carry pets complying with the Pet Passport regulations. Compliant pets may travel on any ferry. The pet must travel with its owner or with a person acting on behalf of the owner (unaccompanied pets cannot travel to Ireland under the EU Pet Passport System).

The operator of the airline or ferry company is legally obliged under the Pet Passport (No 2) Regulations 2014 to notify the arrival of the animals to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by email at least 24 hours before the journey to

Further information is available from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine ( and from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights D:

Applying for a student grant

July 2015


I’ve just finished my Leaving Certificate and am hoping to go to college in the autumn. How do I apply for a student grant?


SUSI is Ireland’s single national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. It began to process grants in 2012, replacing the 66 local awarding authorities who had previously processed student grant applications.

You make an application to SUSI by completing and submitting an application form online. You must have an online account with SUSI before you can make your grant application. The closing date for applications is 1 August 2015.

You can use SUSI’s eligibility reckoner to see whether you meet the standard criteria to be considered eligible for student grant funding. You must meet the conditions of the student grant scheme. You must be an Irish, EU, EEA or Swiss national or have specific leave to remain in the State. You must also have been ordinarily resident in Ireland or the EU for three of the last five years). Your family’s means (in the previous tax year – 2014) are assessed. You must also be attending an approved course in an approved institution.

You must make sure that you provide complete and accurate information (date of birth, Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSNs) and bank details in particular) to avoid any delay to the processing of your application. You need to send hard copies of any supporting documentation to SUSI.

If you are refused a grant or are approved a grant at a rate you don’t think applies to your situation, you can appeal the decision in writing to SUSI. You must appeal within 30 days of getting your decision.

Student grants are reviewed each year. If you had a grant in one academic year and are continuing your studies on the course in the following year, SUSI will be in contact with you in order to renew or re-assess your student grant for that next year.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See for details of your local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 07 6780
Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

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