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Over 80% more people sought legal advice for housing issues last year

The total number of queries to FLAC centres was up more than 10% compared to 2012.

Image: gavel via Shutterstock

QUERIES TO THE Free Legal Advice Centre’s (FLAC) telephone service relating to housing issues surged by 83.5% last year, the organisation’s annual report shows.

There was also a 56.1% rise in callers getting in touch over ‘neighbour disputes’, and 47.5% for general legal services.

Meanwhile, FLAC centres saw a 26.5% rise in credit and debt related issues.

Speaking at the report’s launch today, Chief Justice Susan Denham said this wasn’t surprising “these challenging times”, and praised the organisation’s continuing work in “advocating fairness for those on low incomes dealing with personal over-indebtedness”.

“My wish is that justice is done for the people of Ireland in terms of their access to the legal system,” she said.

Speirs070714FLAC05 Cheif Justice Susan Denham speaking today. Source: Derek Speirs

“Rights are meaningless without access. FLAC is playing an important role in making rights a reality for thousands of people.”

A total of 27,546 were assisted by FLAC with queries last year, up roughly 10%, with the majority continuing to contact the service in relation to family law issues such as divorce.

Concerns relating to company law fell by 27.9%.

“It is quite obvious that the ‘Great  Recession’, which has blighted the lives of so many Irish people, has created an increasing workload at FLAC,” Denham said.

PastedImage-90724 Source: FLAC

Read: FLAC says new welfare strategy should target department errors – not just fraud >

More: The State still puts banking needs ahead of people’s rights – FLAC >

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Nicky Ryan

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