Nine per cent fewer people sought help from the legal rights group FLAC in Westmeath last year than the year before, according to its annual report, but family, employment and money worries continue to dominate the agenda.
Westmeath FLAC opens twice a month in Athlone and Mullingar, in partnership with the Citizen Information Board. Volunteer legal advisors in the centres are rostered under the auspices of the local Citizens Information Service, and the centres are free, confidential and open to all FLAC stands for Free Legal Advice Centres.
Its director general Noeline Blackwell said the figures for 2012 show there is a fundamental need in Irish society for accessible legal information and advice for individuals, and for fairer systems that allow people to access their rights across a wide range of issues.
“It was a milestone year for FLAC where after years of campaigning to reform personal debt law, we finally saw the passage of personal insolvency legislation, its many flaws notwithstanding.”