Filter

Question

104. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the waiting times and numbers of persons on the waiting list at each of the free legal aid centres, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10758/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The provision of civil legal aid in the State is delivered by the Legal Aid Board pursuant to the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 and the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 1996 to 2017.
I am conscious that there are significant demands on the Board and that this gives rise to waiting times for certain services at most of the Board’s law centres. However, waiting times have been markedly reduced over the past couple of years due to measures introduced by the Board and the Deputy will be glad to know that the Board’s budget was increased to €40.275m in 2018. 
The Board is extremely conscious that delays in service can lead to difficulties not just for the client but also for children, the wider family and the community, as well as the courts system.  In this regard, the Board provides a priority service in respect of a number of areas such as domestic violence, child abduction, child care, and asylum and related matters. All other applications are placed on the waiting list.  
I would advise the Deputy that the details of waiting times in each law centre are published on a monthly basis on the Legal Aid Board website.  However, to be of assistance, I have included these figures in my response.
Legal Aid Board waiting times – 31 December 2017

Waiting for 1st Consultation Waiting for 2nd Consultation
Law Centre Max Waiting Time (wks) Number Max Waiting Time (wks) Number
Athlone 8 21 17 33
Blanchardstown 8 29 0 0
Castlebar 10 40 0 0
Cavan 9 20 0 0
Clondalkin 25 57 0 0
Cork Popes Quay 20 69 0 0
Cork South Mall 23 82 18 68
Dundalk 16 41 0 0
Ennis 17 49 20 28
Finglas 16 57 0 0
Galway Francis St 22 64 0 0
Galway Seville House 8 17 7 15
Jervis Street 5 20 26 69
Kilkenny 13 35 0 0
Letterkenny 12 51 0 0
Limerick 16 61 0 0
Longford 20 44 15 23
Monaghan 22 52 0 0
Navan 24 81 4 7
Nenagh 18 52 0 0
Newbridge 17 33 0 0
Portlaoise 19 79 0 0
Sligo 9 20 0 0
Smithfield 14 93 0 0
Tallaght 21 56 9 3
Tralee 34 128 0 0
Tullamore 5 10 0 0
Waterford 10 38 0 0
Wexford 26 74 0 0
Wicklow 12 45 0 0

I am informed that some law centres operate a ‘triage’ approach, which involves giving an applicant a short consultation (45 minutes) for legal advice. Those persons remain on the Board’s waiting list if they require further legal services and the wait time for this is indicated by the second column (waiting for 2nd consultation).