MORE than 100 incidents involving Census 2022 enumerators were reported to the Central Statistics Office last year — half of which were dog bites.
More than 5,000 census enumerators were recruited to deliver and collect census forms to more than two million households last year, a spokesperson for the CSO saying that “a few hundred” departed before the end of their contract.
The CSO said enumerators were given comprehensive training before household visits and given advice on how to deal with various situations and also provided with incident forms to report on any incidents, ranging from trips and falls to car damage and dog bites.
According to a CSO spokesperson: “Of just over 100 incidents reported to the CSO in 2022, around half related to dog bites. In terms of more serious situations such as incidents of physical and verbal abuse, enumerators were advised to report these directly to their local garda station.
“While we have no record on file as to how many incidents were reported to the Gardaí, we understand it is rare for an enumerator to be physically assaulted.
“It is worth pointing out, that most Irish people are happy to engage with the Census team and understand the importance of gathering information not only for society now, but for future generations. Most enumerators had a positive experience engaging with the public and made more than five million visits to households delivering and collecting census forms.”
As for the number of enumerators who departed before the end of their contract, the CSO said: “There is an expected level of turnover when employing a large number of people for part-time work over a 10-week period.
"The process of recruiting staff and providing training took a number of months, and as a result, some people left in favour of a full-time job, or their circumstances changed, or they felt the role did not suit them.
“Census 2022 also had the additional challenge of covid.
“The majority of enumerators completed their contracts and were instrumental in ensuring the success of Census 2022. Out of more than 5,000 enumerators, a few hundred left before the end of their contract.
“The reason for leaving was not recorded at the time.”