Written Answers. - Legal Aid Services.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

535 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 310 of 6 March 2001, he will indicate the catchment area served by the Newbridge law centre in County Kildare; the areas of north Kildare served by specific Dublin law centres; if he will consider the provision of a law centre for the north Kildare area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7759/01]

The Deputy will be aware that under the terms of the Civil Legal Aid Act, 1995, that the Legal Aid Board has sole responsibility for the provision of legal services, including the location of law centres.

I am informed that applicants from the Kildare area can apply for legal services either at the full-time law centre in Newbridge or at any of the Dublin based law centres that are more convenient to them. The Deputy will be aware that under the terms of the Civil Legal Aid Act, 1995, an applicant for legal services may apply to any law centre in the State, regardless of his or her home address. In this regard, while law centres serve no particular catchment area, their location is determined on the basis of providing the widest possible access to legal services.

I understand that while the Legal Aid Board has no plans at present to open a further law centre in County Kildare, the situation will continue to be monitored in the context of its ongoing review of demand for legal services.