MLRC training in social welfare law, delivered by Professor Gerry Whyte, Associate Professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin – July 2017

In July, Professor Gerry Whyte, Associate Professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, and Director on the MLRC Board of Directors, will deliver a comprehensive training course on social welfare law.  The course will provide a detailed overview of social welfare law. The purpose of the course is to provide participants with an up to date comprehensive review of social welfare law, to help them in their advocacy and work for their clients in respect of social welfare law issues.

The topics covered in the course will include:

  • 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, 25 Cork Street, Dublin 8

Course dates and times:

The workshops will be held over three weeks in July.  Participants would be expected to attend all five workshops to receive maximum benefit from the training. The training schedule is:

  • Tuesday 4 July 2017: 9.45am to 1pm
  • Thursday 6 July 2017: 9.45am to1pm
  • Tuesday 11 July 2017: 9.45am to 12 noon
  • Thursday 13 July 2017: 1.45pm to 4pm
  • Tuesday 18 July 2017: 9.45am to 12 noon


Among the feedback from participants who attended this course last year:

“The training sessions were excellent in content, presentation and venue. Thank you. And great value for money.”

“’Well pitched.  Gerry was excellent but also got great insight from the comments and questions of other course participants.”

“Very clear, structured and concise notes – really useful for further reference.”

“Found it very useful, will be using it in my day-to-day work.”

All participants noted it would make a large difference and improvement to the way they do their job. 

How to book a place on this course:

The cost per participant is €60 for all five workshops.

The spaces for this training are limited so please do book early if you wish to attend.  If you are interested in booking a place(s) for this social welfare law training please contact Danielle Curtis, MLRC Administrator, at Mercy Law Resource Centre on 01 4537459 or by email by 5pm on Thursday 29 June.

We would be very happy to hear from you!


Subscribe to our e-zine



MLRC delivers training on housing to staff of Dundalk and Drogheda CICs

As part of MLRC’s work, we provide training in housing law to organisations and individuals working in the field of homelessness. In April, MLRC held a training session in housing law for the staff of Dundalk and Drogheda CICs.

Our training session gave practical advice and information, which will help attendees deal even more effectively with clients’ housing issues, both directly themselves and in referring to MLRC as is useful for them.

The training session focused in particular on giving an overview of housing law and the law relating to homelessness and common legal issues arising with accessing legal entitlements in relation to housing; the law regarding the Housing Assistance Payment; the procedure for evictions from local authority housing, as well as information on how to access information under the Freedom of Information Act.

In their feedback, attendees described the session as:

“It was excellent, inclusive and interesting – excellent use of materials”;

It was very enjoyable, especially the case studies“;

“Very well delivered in an understanding manner”;

“Trainer very knowledgeable and open to questions. Good use of case studies”;

Attendees also gave feedback t they found the handouts were excellent with very informative and relevant content which will be a useful resource in carrying out their day to day work.  A number of those at the training said that the training session will make a tremendous difference in their work, particularly the training on the use of FOI requests; the clarity given on the Housing Assistance Payment, the rules or legislation around social housing and how these should operate, and useful strategies and practical steps to follow to support/advocate for clients with housing issues.

If you are interested in organising a training session by MLRC, please contact Danielle on 01 4537459 or at We would be very happy to hear from you and discuss the training that would be most useful for you.

Subscribe to our e-zine


All information provided on this blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Click here to read more.

Launch of the Ombudsman for Children’s Annual Report 2016

In May, Mercy Law Resource Centre was delighted to attend the launch of the Ombudsman for Children’s 2016 Annual Report. We would like to extend our congratulations to the office of the Ombudsman for producing such a detailed and comprehensive report.

In 2016 the Ombudsman saw an increase in the number of housing complaints received. Concerns relating to housing and accommodation accounted for 5% of these complaints. However, the Ombudsman believes that the proportion is far higher in reality, referencing Ireland’s 2,000 homeless children.    Access to suitable housing accounted for 78% of these complaints. Two of the principal issues which arose in this context related to suitable housing for children with disabilities and homelessness. 10% of complaints related to traveller accommodation and 9% related to neighbourhood suitability and anti-social concerns.  Key concerns which repeatedly arose included the administration of prioritisation schemes, the adaptation of housing for children with disabilities and transparency in decision making and communication.

The Ombudsman has been proactive in advocating that children be considered and planned for in the process of formulating housing policy and legislation. Notably, the office raised these concerns with the Department of Housing, Community, Planning and Local Government during the drafting of the Rebuilding Ireland Plan 2017. MLRC welcomes the Ombudsman’s commitment to further pursue this area in 2017. The importance of advocating for change in homeless policy is crucial to achieve lasting change in the prevention and reduction of homelessness in Ireland.

The following two cases which the Ombudsman was involved in this past year from our experience exemplify the problems which many families across Ireland are facing:

Sophie: Availability of housing for a child with disabilities

Sophie, aged 10 years, has a number of medical issues which affect her mobility. Her family were granted priority transfer on medical grounds, however, there had been no change in their position since 2014. The family were negatively impacted by anti-social behaviour in the area and Sophie was fearful and anxious as a result.

The Ombudsman contacted the local authority and established that while the family were high priority on the housing list there was no accommodation suitable for Sophie’s needs available or immediately forthcoming. The Ombudsman requested that a safe temporary transfer be arranged for Sophie until a more permanent fixture could established, in order to diminish any further adverse impact on Sophie’s health.

A temporary home was identified by the local authority within five weeks which was suitable for Sophie’s needs and was close to her extended family and school. Furthermore, the local authority has identified a permanent, specifically adapted house that will be available for the family in 2017.

Sarah: Impact of Rising Rents and Resulting Homelessness

Sarah, aged 7, has hydrocephalus and other medical needs. Her family became homeless following the sale of their private rented accommodation. The family advised the local authority of their impending homelessness but were informed that they would be unable to avail of any homeless services until the presented as homeless. They were advised of the supports available to them to help maintain their tenancy but were unable to do so. When the family presented to the Ombudsman they had been living in homeless accommodation for a number of months and had spent several nights in their car when it was not possible to source accommodation.

The Ombudsman contacted the local authorities and raised concerns about the length of time a child on both the medical priority list and the homeless waiting list was spending in hotel accommodation and the effect that this was having on the health and education of the child. During the investigation of the case an appropriate property was offered to Sarah and her family.

MLRC welcomes the annual report and looks forward to working with the Ombudsman for Children in the coming months on the pressing issue of children in homelessness.


Subscribe to our e-zine


All information provided on this blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Click here to read more.


MLRC is recruiting a locum solicitor to join the MLRC team

MLRC is now recruiting a Locum Solicitor.

This is a unique opportunity to practice in public interest and human rights law to help those at the margins of our society within a vibrant, dynamic independent law centre, with an ethos which recognises the dignity of each person, seeking to ensure that all people are treated with respect and compassion and are enabled to achieve their full potential as human beings, committed to the principles of human rights, social justice and equality.

The Locum Solicitor position will be offered as a fixed purpose six month contract, covering a period of maternity leave. The position is full-time with immediate start.  The salary offered with this position is commensurate with experience.

For full details of the role and how to apply, please click here

To download the application form, please click here

Please send completed application (cover letter, CV and application form) as one attachment  to

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 23 June 2017.


subscribe to our e-zine


All information provided on this blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Click here to read more.