PEOPLE in Donegal are
waiting up to 26 weeks for a first appointment with
the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), it's
The figures were sourced from a parliamentary
response received by Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty
earlier this week.
His MEP candidate colleague Matt Carthy described
the figures as "shocking".
"While the state-wide average wait for a first time
appointment is 4.5 weeks, which in itself is a long
time, there are huge variations, with some counties
including Donegal, experiencing inordinate delays.
“North Donegal has the longest waiting time, at 26.2
weeks. These waiting times may force families under
pressure from banks to agree to unsustainable and
unfair debt repayment agreements. This is totally
“When people make up their mind to approach MABS
they are usually in a desperate position needing
immediate help to cope with the financial
difficulties they are facing," he added.
Mr Carthy said he had held a number of information
meetings on mortgage distress across the Midlands
North West constituency and had seen the stress
faced by people who are struggling with their
“Fine Gael and Labour promised in the Programme for
Government to strengthen MABS but clearly this has
"The Government needs to address this situation
immediately by providing the necessary resources and
staff to ensure that people in Donegal and elsewhere
do not have to wait such lengthy periods for what is
now an essential service.”