Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (126)

Clare Daly

Question:

126. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the attitude of the Child and Family Agency to the court proceedings which had been initiated by the Health Service Executive and then subsequently withdrawn in relation to limiting the ability of parents to select a solicitor of their choice where their children were being potentially taken from them; and the steps he will take to protect parents and children in this regard. [20867/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I have asked the Child and Family Agency to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to the court proceedings in question.

As the Deputy is aware, matters in relation to the Legal Aid Board are the responsibility of my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality.

I understand that any parent whose child is the subject of care proceedings by the Child and Family Agency may apply to the Legal Aid Board for representation and will receive legal aid if found eligible. The applicant may apply at any of the Board's law centres but in practice applications are made at the most convenient law centre for the applicant. In accordance with section 31 of the Civil Legal Aid Act, the Board will nominate a solicitor to represent that person in the proceedings.There is, however, nothing preventing a person who may be eligible for legal aid from engaging a solicitor privately for representation in child care proceedings.