Dáil Éireann - Volume 497 - 26 November, 1998

Written Answers - Legal Aid.

83. Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if a request for legal aid has been received from a person (details supplied) through the Irish Embassy in London; and if his Department will be of assistance to the applicant. [25274/98]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews): In October 1997 this person asked the Embassy to assist him in finding a solicitor, preferably Irish, who would act for him under the British legal aid scheme in connection with a conviction in an English court. The Embassy contacted the British Legal Aid Board and passed on to the person concerned a list, provided by the board, of solicitors who take on legal aid work as well as a list of Irish firms of solicitors. The advice of the British Legal Aid Board that he contact the Registrar of Criminal Appeals in relation to legal aid for the Court of Appeal was also passed to him. The Embassy understands that this person subsequently arranged with one of the named solicitors to represent him.

[876] There has been no more recent request to the Embassy from this person concerning legal aid. In June 1998 he asked that the Embassy liaise with a private consultant who, he says, is working on his behalf and take action to obtain sworn affidavits from three other people. The Embassy has asked him to request his solicitor to communicate to the Embassy his professional opinion regarding the requests that have been made. When and if the solicitor contacts the Embassy consideration will be given to whether it would be appropriate for it to accede to the requests.