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Meet The Board

Tuesday, 8th November 2016

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has announced the appointment of a new Legal Aid Board with a term of office to end on 1 November 2021. The outgoing Board’s term of office had expired recently. In keeping with the Government’s policy, the appointments were dealt with through the Public Appointments Service portal www.stateboards.ie.

The Chairperson is Mr Philip O'Leary, solicitor, a partner with FitzGerald Solicitors, Cork. The other members appointed to the Board are:

  • Anne-Marie Blaney, Solicitor, Legal Aid Board staff representative
  • Thomas Brennan, Chartered Accountant
  • Deirdre Burke, Solicitor
  • David Gilbride, Officer of the Minister for Justice and Equality
  • Nuala Jackson, Senior Counsel
  • Gordon Jeyes, former Chief Executive of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency
  • Maurice Lawlor, Officer of the Minister for Social Protection
  • Freda McKittrick, Assistant Director, Barnardos
  • Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, Former CEO, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre; Adjunct Professor, UL School of Law
  • Michael O'Connell, Legal Aid Board staff representative
  • Evelyn O'Connor, Officer of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform

Making the announcement, the Tánaiste said: "I am very pleased that people of such calibre are willing to undertake this public service. There are many challenges ahead for this new Legal Aid Board, including delivery of the new scheme to help people who are in mortgage arrears on their home to access independent expert financial and legal advice, and the transfer of responsibility for the statutory Criminal Legal Aid scheme to the Board. I am confident that the new Board members will bring their considerable skills and experience to this important work."

The Tánaiste concluded "I want to thank all the members of the previous Legal Aid Board for their outstanding contribution. I especially want to thank the outgoing Chairperson, Muriel Walls, for her leadership, tireless commitment and dedication to the work of the Board. All of the members have helped to ensure that the Legal Aid Board remains an effective and respected body that is well placed to continue its good work".