Nuala Jackson SC appointed chair of Legal Aid Board
Nuala Jackson SC has been appointed as chairperson of the Legal Aid Board for a five-year term.
Ms Jackson was an ordinary member of the outgoing Board. Six members of the outgoing Board have been reappointed while six new appointments have been made.
The new members are solicitor Liam Ryan; retired District Court judge Patrick Durcan; retired solicitor Michael Bourke; Marianne Nolan, officer of the minister for public expenditure; and Board employees Catherine Ryan and Niamh O’Hanlon.
The reappointed members are Gordon Jeyes, former chief executive of Tusla; Freda McKittrick, assistant director of Barnardos; barrister Nuala Egan; solicitor Catherine Keane; Tracy O’Keeffe, officer of the minister for justice; and Maurice Lawlor, officer of the minister for social protection.
Justice minister Helen McEntee said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Nuala Jackson SC as chairperson of the Legal Aid Board.
“Ms Jackson has a detailed understanding of the issues and challenges facing those who require access to justice, but are of limited means. She has a distinguished track record as a senior counsel and has brought this valued experience to bear in her role as an ordinary member of the outgoing Legal Aid Board.
“I have every confidence that Ms Jackson will lead the Legal Aid Board effectively in what will be a period of significant developments, including the forthcoming review of civil legal aid which my Department will shortly commence.
“I also congratulate the new members of the Board and wish them well in what will be a challenging but rewarding role.”
She added: “I wish to express my deep gratitude to Philip O’Leary, the outgoing chairperson of the Board, and the outgoing members of the Board, who led the organisation effectively through their term of office. In particular I wish to pay tribute to the work that was done to maintain the availability of the Board’s services to vulnerable clients during the Covid-19 pandemic. I wish them well in their future endeavours.”
Ms Jackson said: “I am delighted to be appointed as chairperson of the Legal Aid Board and for the opportunity to lead this organisation.
“I have seen at first hand the contribution of the Legal Aid Board to its clients, to the administration of justice, and to society in Ireland. In providing access to justice to thousands of people each year, the Board represents an essential building block of a democratic State.
“It has made considerable progress in recent years in areas such as the co-location of legal aid and mediation services, the delivery of consultations via technology, and the gradual reduction in the numbers waiting for a first appointment.
“I will seek to build on these achievements with the incoming Board and with the chief executive John McDaid, with particular emphasis on making a significant and meaningful contribution to the forthcoming review of civil legal aid, the delivery of an effective and efficient service to clients, and the successful integration of new services which the Board may be required to provide in the coming years.”