Independent & Community Law Centres

Independent law centres are at the front line of public interest law practice in Ireland, enabling access to justice for marginalised and disadvantaged people in the communities that they serve. PILA supports and promotes law centres as part of our work.

We refer legal advice queries received from other organisations to the law centres.

We also help law centres get pro bono legal assistance from other solicitors and barristers through the PILA Pro Bono Referral Scheme, where they require specialised legal advice to further their frontline work.

  • Ballymun Community Law Centre

    Ballymun Community Law Centre (BCLC) is a North Dublin law centre which provides a range of community legal services in an area where no previous legal services existed. Its mission is to provides information, advice, assistance, representation, mediation and education as well as taking a strategic approach to tackling inequality. It specialises in the following areas of law: housing, consumer, debt, social welfare, employment and equality.

    Ballymun run a Legal Education Programme, which includes the popular Housing Law and Policy course taught by NUI Galway expert Dr Padraic Kenna. You can find out more information about BCLC's Mediation Service here. BCLC provides mediation services for all kinds of conflicts, including housing disputes, family and parenting issues.

    You can contact the law centre through their website or by telephoning 01 862 5805.

  • Free Legal Advice Centres

    PILA is a project of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), but PILA also works with FLAC just like any other law centre.

    FLAC was established in 1969 by four Irish law students. It is an independent human rights organisation dedicated to the realisation of equal access to justice for all. To this end it campaigns on a range of legal issues but also offers some basic, free legal services to the public. 

    FLAC currently concentrates its work on four main areas: Legal Aid, Social Welfare, Credit & Debt and Public Interest Law. Landmark public interest litigation undertaken by FLAC includes the Foy case.

    You can find out more details about how to contact FLAC, including its Information & Referral Line, here on its website.

  • Immigrant Council of Ireland

    The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) is an independent human rights organisation that was established in 2001. It advocates for the rights of migrants and their families and acts as a catalyst for public debate as well as legislative and policy change.

    The ICI is an independent law centre, which means it can provide legal representation to migrants and their families. It undertakes strategic litigation in order to try to effect change. It also provides a Racist Incident Support and Referral Service, undertakes work in the area of integration, conducts policy and campaign work and provides a training service.

    The ICI also provides a Specialist Immigration Advocacy Service for vulnerable migrants and those who have experienced human rights abuses in Ireland, such as victims of sex trafficking, people who have experienced domestic violence and children. The ICI's Information and Referral Service deals with more than 10,000 enquiries about Ireland’s immigration system each year.

    You can find out more details about how to contact ICI, including its Information and Referral Service phone line, here on its website.

  • Irish Refugee Council Independent Law Centre

    The Irish Refugee Council Independent Law Centre opened in November 2011, as the legal services section of the Irish Refugee Council.

    The primary aims of the law centre are to meet unmet legal need in a strategic manner and to promote and deliver early legal advice and representation to those in the early stages of the asylum process.

    It also accepts referrals from organisations in relation to individuals at various stages of the asylum/refugee process where those cases may be of strategic benefit to asylum seekers in Ireland and/or where an individual is extremely vulnerable and has difficulties in otherwise accessing legal services.

    Organisations and individuals can contact the IRC Law Centre on 01 764 5061 or by emailing lawcentre@irishrefugeecouncil.ie.

  • Irish Traveller Movement Independent Law Centre

    The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) Independent Law Centre opened in 2009, replacing the ITM's Legal Unit.

    The law centre provides a specialist legal service to Travellers in Ireland and is the only one of its kind in the country. The law centre recognises that there is an unmet legal need in the Traveller community and that the existence of a specialist legal service for Travellers is essential to the advancement of Traveller rights in Ireland.

    The law centre's aims are to advance the ability of members of the Travelling Community to access expert legal advice and representation, to proactively advance Traveller human rights under the various legislative frameworks, to advance recognition of Travellers as an ethnic minority, to develop the capacity of Traveller organisations to respond to legal issues facing Travellers and to take a series of test cases to challenge laws that attack Traveller culture.

    Organisations and individuals can contact the law centre's Managing Solicitor, Susan Fay, on 01 6796577 or by email at itmlawcentre@gmail.com.

  • Law Centre for Children & Young People

    PILA has helped to create a Law Centre for Children and Young people that will advocate specifically for the rights of children and young people in Ireland. 

    Funding for the Law Centre was secured in 2012, which enabled the apointment of a Director and Project Officer. It is expected that the Law Centre will commence a specialist legal service and training programme for professionals advocating on behalf of children and young people in 2014. 

  • Limerick Community Law & Mediation Centre

    Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre (LCMC) is a recently established community law centre which aims to support and promote the rights of disadvantaged and marginalised communities in Limerick City, with particular remit for the regeneration areas. The centre provides a range of legal services, some of which are designed to meet the specific needs of the regeneration communities and others which are available to the wider Limerick community.

    The main areas of work are the provision of free legal advice and information, advocacy, legal representation and mediation to people in its catchment areas.  Key areas of the law centre's legal services are Family Law, Employment & Equality, Social Welfare, Consumer Law, Debt, and Housing.   The centre also provides a legal education programme with particular focus on issues arising in the communities it serves.    

    LCMC is a project of Northside Law and Mediation Centre, Coolock, funded by the Limerick Regeneration Agencies and PILA.

    You can contact the law centre on 061 536100 or e-mail Limerick@nclc.ie Limerick Social Service Centre, Upper Henry Street, Limerick.

  • Mercy Law Resource Centre

    The Mercy Law Resource Centre is an independent law centre, set up by the Sisters of Mercy in 2009. It provides a free, quality and holistic legal service to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the areas of Housing and Social Welfare Law. This includes people who are trying to move away from homelessness or are struggling with issues often linked to homelessness e.g. addiction, leaving prison, mental illness, prostitution.  The service is available to persons from Dublin who are not already catered for by the Ballymun and Northside Community Law Centres. .

    The centre's services also include a "befriending" service for clients in order to accompany them and provide them with emotional support as they go through the difficult process of trying to assert their rights.

    Organisations and individuals can contact the centre on 01 4537459, by email at info@mercylaw.ie, or through the contact form on their website.

  • Northside Community Law & Mediation Centre

    Northside Community Law & Mediation Centre (NCLC) is an independent law centre. Operating since 1975, the law centre was the first community law centre in the Republic of Ireland.

    NCLC provides provides free advice and servies to people in its catchment area - Dublin North Central and Dublin North East. Key areas of the law centre's legal services are Family Law, Employment & Equality, Social Welfare, Consumer Law, Deb, Wills & Inheritance and Housing. The law centre also provides a free mediation service to anyone living in the Northside area. Its website includes the Social Welfare Casebase, which is a resource of social welfare appeals case decisions.

    NCLC has an active community legal education programme, targeted at both individuals and organisations. It can be contacted by calling 01 847 7804 or by email at info@nclc.ie.