MLRC holds workshops in Social Welfare Law, delivered by Professor Gerry Whyte, Associate Professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

MLRC has held a a series of six comprehensive training workshops in Social Welfare Law, delivered by Professor Gerry Whyte, Associate Professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin.

We would like to extend our great appreciation to Professor Whyte and thank him for sharing his expertise, time and energy.

The workshops were held over three weeks in April at our offices at Sophia Housing, 25 Cork Street, Dublin 8. Twenty people attended from several organisations including Crosscare, Dublin Simon Community, Ruhama, Life Pregnancy Care, Saoirse Women’s Refuge, Merchants Quay Ireland, Clondalkin CIC and Liberties CIC, Threshold, the Legal Aid Board, IHREC and FLAC.   Feedback from participants included:

‘Professor Whyte is a terrific lecturer. Thank you!’

‘Excellent input.’

‘Perfectly judged!’

All participants noted it would make a difference and improvement to the way they do their job.  The training provided a detailed overview of social welfare law and will benefit participants in the work with their clients in terms of advocacy on social welfare law issues.

The topics covered included:

  • Sources of social welfare law
  • Claims and appeals
  • Social Insurance
  • Social Assistance
  • Rates of payment
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Unemployment and low pay
  • Illness, incapacity and caring
  • Family payments
  • The elderly and survivors

MLRC hopes to be in a position to host another similar series on Social Welfare Law next year and any interested organisations or individuals should please register their interest to Shauna Curran at Mercy Law Resource Centre on 01 4537459 or by email shauna@mercylaw.ie.

 

 

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MLRC assists client access medical priority on housing list

Our client presented with a challenging situation where he was a former Council tenant with his estranged wife who continues to reside at the property. Our client had moved out but there was an issue with rent arrears on the property which we managed to resolve.  Our client entered into a rescheduling arrangement, through An Post Household Budget Scheme, with the Council for the payment of rent arrears and has continued to comply with this arrangement for a significant length of time.

However the Council continued to refuse to include him on their housing list as a result of these arrears.  Also, our client has serious health problems which were well-documented and wished to apply for medical priority.

We prepared and lodged detailed submissions with strong supporting evidence to the Council in September 2014. Initially, in response, the Council raised an issue in relation to arrears of rent that the client had.  However the Council subsequently responded that they were prepared to re-consider the case on “compassionate grounds”.  Further submissions and working together with his social worker ensured that our client is now eligible for social housing support and is a priority on the housing list under medical grounds.

 

 

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MLRC welcomes Trinity College Dublin Graduate, Conor Casey

Conor Casey photoMLRC is delighted to welcome Conor Casey, who will be working with us until July. Conor is a recent graduate and Scholar of Trinity College Dublin. He has a keen interest in administrative, constitutional and public interest law and looks forward to engaging with these areas in Mercy Law’s legal and policy work.

We look forward to Conor’s contribution to MLRC’s work in supporting, through our services, those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

 

 

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MLRC welcomes Sinead Kerin as Locum Solicitor with MLRC

Sinead Kerin headshotMLRC is delighted to welcome Sinead Kerin as our locum solicitor and colleague.

Sinead is a Solicitor with extensive experience in Social Welfare and Housing Law having worked with Focus Ireland in Limerick for several years.

Sinead graduated from University College Cork and has a degree in Sociology and Geography and completed her Masters in International Studies from the University of Limerick. Sinead worked as a legal researcher for the Northern Ireland Assembly, the University of Ulster and for a Member of the European Union before qualifying as a solicitor in 2009 having completed her apprenticeship with Augustus Cullen Law in Wicklow.

Since qualification Sinead has worked as a legal researcher for the International Development Law Organisation, a Child Law Legal Researcher for McMahon Solicitors and as manager of Focus Ireland Advice & Advocacy Centre in Limerick where she her main work and advocacy was in social welfare and housing law.

Sinead is an active volunteer and member of the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), the Irish Society of Cruelty to Children, (ISPCC) and Amnesty International.

We look forward to working with Sinead over the coming months building on MLRC’s work helping those who are on the margins of our society.

 

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