INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS IN RELATION TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK

24 March 2020

 

The Bar of Ireland have developed a comprehensive Covid-19 area in the Members’ Section of the Law Library website and we endeavour to respond to developments daily. The dedicated section will provide resources for members as they work from remotely, with IT guides, Library services and emergency contact details. Please submit any suggestions to communications@lawlibrary.ie.

Members can receive communications from The Bar of Ireland by:

 

  • Email communication, via your @lawlibrary.ie email address
  • The Bar of Ireland Twitter account, @TheBarofIreland
  • Information will be posted on the Member's Section of the website which can be accessed here

 

11/03/2020 - Contingency planning is underway across many workplaces to respond to the evolving situation in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Planning and Preparedness Group comprised of members of the Council and the Executive Team are meeting on a regular basis to assess the risk to individuals and to the continuity of Law Library business activities during the evolving situation in relation to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the preparatory actions that can be taken to respond. 

The following mitigation actions have been implemented over the last week:

INFECTION CONTROL

  1. Posters have been placed on all noticeboards and bathroom facilities in keeping with the HSE guidelines with information on infection control recommendations and members are urged to follow the HSE guidelines in that regard.
  2. There has been an increase in cleaning throughout the Four Courts, Church Street, Distillery Building and the Cork Bar Library for the primary purpose of sanitising all common surfaces (door handles, taps, doors) on a regular basis throughout each day. 
  3. Antibacterial wipes have been placed at all reception desks.
  4. Internal doors, where appropriate, have been propped open to minimise need for touching doors.
  5. There is currently a sufficient supply of hygiene facilities available throughout our buildings including hand-washing facilities, soap, paper towels and hand sanitiser.  However, there have been reports of hand sanitisers being removed from our buildings thereby impacting on our supply levels.  Members are reminded that in order for the hand sanitiser regime to be effective, it is important that all users of our buildings have access to their use.  The removal of the hand sanitisers for an individual’s personal use, will only result in a reduced effectiveness for all users.

 

COMMUNICATION PLANS

In the event that we need to communicate information to members, you will receive such communications from The Bar of Ireland in four ways:

  1. Text communication, where members have provided a mobile phone number
  2. Email communication, via @lawlibrary.ie
  3. The Bar of Ireland Twitter account, @TheBarofIreland
  4. Information will be posted on our website www.lawlibrary.ie

 

EVENTS

There are approximately 13 events scheduled to take place until the end of this legal term.  The Council and executive staff in conjunction with the facilitator of each event is monitoring the HSE guidance in relation to events and will make arrangements to cancel those events if necessary.  In the meantime, all events that are listed on the Calendar of Events will proceed as stated unless cancelled or postponed by the event organiser (e.g. Committee or Bar Association).

At this time, it is expected that the 2020 Annual Conference that is scheduled to take place in Lisbon on 5/6 June 2020 will proceed.

 

ACCESS TO THE BAR OF IRELAND PREMISES & SERVICES IN THE EVENT OF COURT CLOSURES

In the event that the Courts Service takes a decision to close the Courts Service buildings, or in the event that we are notified that a member or staff member has contracted the COVID-19 virus, it may be necessary to take a decision to reduce access to The Bar of Ireland premises and limit services.  In that scenario, staff of The Bar of Ireland are likely to be asked to stay at home and members will also be advised to stay away from The Bar of Ireland premises. 

Members may wish to consider their own arrangements in anticipation of working remotely if this is required.

We have reviewed the critical activities and relevant employee inputs to ensure business continuity in the event of a lockdown.  Up to half of our staff have access to facilities to enable them to work remotely and critical services, albeit reduced, will be maintained remotely in the following areas:

Library & Information Services support will be available through the following channels:

 

EMAIL: information-desk@lawlibrary.ie

TELEPHONE: 01-8172889

TEXT SERVICE: 086-6063218

 

ICT Services support will be available through the following channels:

 

EMAIL: ithelpdesk@lawlibrary.ie

TELEPHONE: 01-8175500

 

Estates Services support will be available through the following channels:

 

EMAIL: estates@lawlibrary.ie

TELEPHONE: 01-8172925

 

Finance Services support will be available through the following channels:

 

EMAIL: accounts@lawlibrary.ie

TELEPHONE: 01-8175004

Communications, Education & Policy Services support will be available through the following channels:

 

EMAIL: communications@lawlibrary.ie

TELEPHONE: 01-8175116

 

Member Services support will be available through the following channels:

 

EMAIL: memberservices@lawlibrary.ie

TELEPHONE: 01-8175012

 

 

All other general queries should be directed to Ciara Murphy, Chief Executive at ciara.murphy@lawlibrary.ie or telephone 01-8172877.

COURTS SERVICE PLANS

Representatives of The Bar of Ireland have confirmed a point of contact for the Courts Service for the purpose of communicating information to members as the situation evolves.

The Courts Service issued a COVID-19 Notice on 11th March 2020 that is available at; https://beta.courts.ie/latest_news. Keep updated with the Courts Service website and social mediaWe understand from that communication that extensive ICT contingency planning is underway by the Courts Service to support court sittings in ways which include the use of modern technology.  We are endeavouring to get further information from the Courts Service in this regard to better understand their approach.

Members are reminded that as part of their @lawlibrary.ie Office365 subscription, they have access to Skype for the purpose of video/tele-conferencing and participating in meetings.  A Help sheet on how to use Skype will be circulated to members later this week.

In endeavouring to deal with this difficult public health issue, which is a source of stress and anxiety for many, we would ask members to be mindful of the health concerns of all colleagues, especially those who are elderly, infirm or whose family members have underlying health difficulties.  For that reason, it is imperative that members use their common sense and follow HSE Guidelines.

Further updates will be given as and when we have information from the Courts Service.