Reflection on the Reopening of MLRC’s Legal Clinics

As we come to the end of the year, our solicitor Paul Dornan reflects back on our legal clinics in 2022.

It was an honour to be able to staff our flagship legal clinic over the last few months.  The clinic was launched in June as the first in-person legal clinic operated by Mercy Law in over two years due to pandemic restrictions.   Our thanks to the Liberties Citizens Information Centre Carmelite Outreach who kindly offered us the space to hold the clinic in the Carmelite Centre on Aungier Street.

While Mercy Law continued to provide legal advice and representation to clients on a remote basis throughout the pandemic, it has been an important goal for us to be able to meet clients again in person as soon as it has been practical to do so. Making legal advice accessible to those who need it most and delivered in a supportive environment is at the heart of what Mercy Law do and having the clinic situated in the Carmelite Centre gives us a convenient city centre location in which to meet clients.

While it was great to be able to meet clients again it was also bittersweet; highlighting, in a personal way, the awful struggles that individuals and families are facing when seeking to access safe and secure accommodation for themselves. I met with clients forced to reside in totally unsuitable and overcrowded emergency accommodation, as well as with those whose current accommodation is unsuitable on account of their medical conditions. It was a sobering reminder that behind all the news coverage of increasing homeless numbers, the delivery of social housing and limited rental supply, that there are real lives, real families, those with who provide care for a loved one, those whose income wasn’t protected during the early days of the pandemic and those who may be from a minority background whose lives are being thrown into a housing crisis. But in the words of President Higgins: “It isn’t a crisis anymore, it’s a disaster”.

As long as there is a demand for our service, we at Mercy Law will continue to support those in the deep distress of homelessness, helping them to assert their rights, give them hope and move them closer to a secure home and for us, the legal clinic is key to this. Fáilte abhaile.

2022-12-01T14:18:33+00:00December 1st, 2022|News|

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