Minister for Housing and TD for Limerick, Jan O’Sullivan, launched the CLM Limerick, formerly Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre on 26th April 2013. Download
Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre is the first community law centre to be established outside Dublin. The Centre provides free legal information, advice, advocacy and representation services to families and individuals living in communities identified for regeneration and other socially and economically disadvantaged areas in Limerick.
The Centre also provides a dispute resolution service and works to empower the community through education, research and campaigns. The Centre is located at the Social Service Centre, Henry Street, Limerick and provides Advice Clinics and Legal Education to the communities in the regeneration areas.
Northside Community Law and Mediation Centre (now Community Law & Mediation) received funding in 2012 from Limerick Regeneration and the Public Interest Law Alliance to establish a community law and mediation service in Limerick.
The Law Centre commenced providing legal services and free advice clinics in the regeneration areas in January 2013. The Law Centre has also commenced community education training and aims to roll-out various training courses tailored to the needs of the regeneration communities.
Speaking in advance of the launch, Minister O’Sullivan commented, “This is a much needed service for Limerick and in particular those communities identified for regeneration. It will be of significant benefit to those who otherwise cannot access legal services. I believe this Centre will enhance social inclusion within the regeneration communities by the provision of legal information, advice and advocacy services. It is a historic development for Limerick as it is the first law centre of its kind to be established outside of Dublin.”
Caroline Keane, Solicitor with Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre, added, “At the outset, the Law Centre undertook a community consultation process to establish the legal needs of the regeneration communities. Through this process we discovered that a very significant need exists within the regeneration communities for an accessible legal service addressing issues such as housing, family/child related matters and social welfare entitlements. Since the advice clinics commenced in the four regeneration areas I am struck by the need for basic information and advice on legal rights and entitlements”.
The Law Centre is based on the model of a community law centre, which aims to promote community development and social inclusion by empowering the local community through the provision of legal services. Moya de Paor, Acting Managing Solicitor of CLM, added, “The model of a community law centre was developed in the United States in the 1960’s. The idea is that law and lawyers can be used by communities to promote social inclusion. We believe that Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre will make a significant difference to disadvantaged communities in Limerick and are delighted to be involved with this initiative.”
Pictured above left to right; John Dunne, Chairperson, Community Law & Mediation, Moya de Paor, Acting Managing Solicitor Community Law & Mediation, Caroline Keane, Solicitor Limerick Law & Mediation, Judge Eugene O'Kelly and Minister for Housing and TD for Limerick, Jan O’Sullivan.