26 Sept 2022

Ireland has ‘most shambolic Legal Aid system in the world’ says Leitrim councillor

Legal aid

“Ireland has the most shambolic Legal Aid system in the world,” according to Cllr Justin Warnock.

Putting forward a motion calling for a major overhaul of the current system, the Fianna Fáil councillor said “Tens of millions of taxpayers’ money is being spent on legal aid for criminal cases annually and this is being exploited by career criminals with the revolving door system which currently exists, to the detriment of victims and our society."

He said that it wasn’t a matter of defendants availing of Legal Aid a few times “(taxpayers) are paying for them to have Legal Aid 15, 20, 30 and even more times.”

Cllr Warnock pointed out that victims are waiting years before cases can be heard and said that the current Legal Aid system is “not fit for purpose because scumbags are blocking up the system”.

He acknowledged that a Legal Aid system is necessary but stressed that “we cannot afford to have it abused especially when the working poor are hardly fit to afford to live at the moment.

Cllr Des Guckian seconded the motion noting “the momentum is with the criminal.”
He said repeat offenders “have to be cornered and a bit of manners put on them”.

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