Blog, 23rd Nov 2012

During the course of our work, offering legal advice to individuals who have found themselves in difficulties, we are seeing more people returning to Ireland who find themselves struggling to find either the assistance or the information they need to establish their new life in Ireland.

MRLC works in partnership with NGO’s and organisations advocating for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness, we would like to highlight Crosscare’s Migrant Project  and the work that they are doing in relation to returning Irish emigrants.

Click here to find out more information on the Crosscare Migrant Project if you are returning to live in Ireland and are unclear of what is required.

More information on the work of MLRC is available on the website at www.mercylaw.ie.

Disclaimer

All information provided on this Blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or a legal contract between this Blog and any person or entity unless otherwise specified.   Click here to read more.

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Blog, 9th Nov 2012

MLRC is delighted to welcome a number of new staff and volunteers to our team.

Sabrina Comerford solicitor has recently joined us for a three month period to the end of December 2012. Sabrina trained as a Solicitor in Malcomson Law Solicitors and qualified in 2008. She has worked in both the Carlow and Dublin Malcomson Law offices and was employed with Malcomson Law as a qualified solicitor for over four and a half years working in the areas of: Family Law, Conveyancing, Medical negligence, Personal Injury as well as specialist knowledge representing clients who had cases pending before the Hepatitis C & HIV Tribunal. Sabrina then moved to Ivor Fitzpatrick Solicitors in October 2011 and was employed there as a litigation solicitor, working in the areas of Wills and Probate, Family Law, Personal Injury and once again acting for clients who had cases pending before the Hepatitis C & HIV Tribunal. Sabrina also has a Diploma in Employment Law obtained from the Law Society in 2009 and is entered on the Roll of Solicitors in England and Wales.

Carol Ann Woulfe, a solicitor with the Equality Authority who is currently on leave of absence has kindly been volunteering one day a fortnight at MLRC for the past 6 months.

Louise McQuaid apprentice solicitor at Mason, Hayes and Curran who have generously agreed that Louise work with MLRC as an intern for the coming months and will be assisting us with our policy and research work. Louise is a graduate from University College Dublin. MLRC also acknowledge the generosity of MHC both in terms of their financial support of the Centre and the provision of much needed key staff.

Nuala Monaghan, Legal Secretary has joined MLRC on a part time basis. Nuala has a wealth of legal experience and long held interest in social issues. We are delighted that she is now part of the MLRC team.

Our Befrienders
We have, at present, thirteen people who are being befriended, currently there are 11 women and 2 men.

MLRC are pleased that six new befrienders participated in an excellent Training workshop in September facilitated by Felicity Kennedy, Psychologist from the Women’s Therapy Centre.  Four women and two men, all of whom have excellent experience including experience in family support services, drug programmes and a retired solicitor. We wish to express our gratitude to Felicity Kennedy and the befrienders who attended.  We also have another retired solicitor and a final year social work student who have expressed an interest in becoming befrienders.

One of our new befrienders has already provided extensive assistance for a new client by providing emotional support and practical assistance in arranging for a place in a women’s refuge, social welfare payments and a medical card. The joint efforts of the befriender and legal service provided an immediate resolution for a very vulnerable client.

MLRC looks forward to Carol Ann’s, Sabrina’s, Louise’s and all our new staff and volunteers’ contribution to the work we are undertaking with the most marginalised in our society.  More information on the work of MLRC is available on the website at www.mercylaw.ie.

Disclaimer

All information provided on this Blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or a legal contract between this Blog and any person or entity unless otherwise specified.   Click here to read more.

Blog 2nd Nov 2012

Here are details of some of our current cases.

Many of us have traditionally been of the view that homelessness affects a certain type of person or indeed arises as a result of certain factors or circumstances. Working in MLRC we regularly find that the traditional stereotypes are far from factual reality. In many instances lack of timely interventions give rise to serious consequences for vulnerable individuals which lead to homelessness.

During the course of this week we have assisted the following very vulnerable people who have or have previously had an interest in property and who do not have any underlying mental health and or addiction issues.

  1. Middle aged gentleman, sleeping rough since March 2012, hospitalised, unable to get rent assistance as had sold a property in the 1980’s and was not in a position to furnish evidence as to how he spent the €20,000 he received.
  2. Young mother with two infant children, 22 months and 6 months old. Both children with medical needs. Sleeping on friends sofas. No social welfare for youngest child or medical card as no addresses. Assessed as not in need of housing as owning property with parents and on mortgage. Mortgage company refusing to release her from title/mortgage. Father registered sex offender.
  3. Lady aged 64 years currently in emergency homeless hostel. Separated from ex-spouse sold property. Received entitlement from sale. Disability payments stopped. Living with partner. Refusal to allow on rent with partner as had means. Partner passes away and local authority force her to move from home and into homeless accommodation as not on rent. In intervening period all funds utilised to meet ordinary living and medical expenses.

It was not necessary to issue proceedings or provide detailed submissions as in each instance the matters would be resolved within days of MLRC involvement.  Local Authorities indicated that resolution was by the provision of either sworn documents stating that they had no assets or property or an undertaking that in the event that funds were received from the sale of the property that a contribution would be made towards the local authority.

The gentleman was sleeping rough for 7 months, the young girl was couch surfing with two infants and baby sleeping in a buggy for 6 months and the elderly lady was forced to leave her home following bereavement and live in an emergency shelter.

Three different Local Authorities were involved. Referrals were received from a Hostel key-worker, hospital social worker and a local authority porter.  In each of these 3 cases timely intervention would have eliminated unnecessary distress and hardship for these vulnerable people.  How many other people are been treated in a similar fashion when they don’t neatly tick the administrators boxes?

More information on the work of MLRC is available on the website at www.mercylaw.ie.

Disclaimer

All information provided on this Blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or a legal contract between this Blog and any person or entity unless otherwise specified.   Click here to read more.