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Fall in asylum seekers’ aid

Resource type: News

Irish Daily Mail |

THE number of asylum seekers using legal aid continues to fall, reflecting a drop In the amount of asylum applications, It was announced yesterday. There was a drop of more than 300 in the number of asylum seekers applying for help from the Legal Aid Board. The board’s Refugee Legal Service registered 2,650 new clients in 2007, compared with 2,980 in 2006. But while the number of asylum seekers was down, an extra 500 peole availed of the Legal Aid Board last year compared with 2006, said its annual report. The board provides services for people on lower Incomes. Some 18,000 people used the board’s services In 2007, up 500 on 2006, while almost 14,000 were catered for In the board’s law centre In contrast to 13,150 the previous year. The report also found 85 per cent of cases related to family-law Issues. More than 2,200 cases were priority cases dealing with issues like domestic violence and child abduction. Chairman of the Legal Aid Board Anne Colley said: ‘The target of providing an appointment with a solicitor within four months has largely been met, and 16 of our 30 law centres had waiting times of two months or less at the end of 2007.’

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