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free legal aid

Free Legal Aid

Prior to 1962, a person accused of a criminal offence could only expect to be provided by the state with legal representation if they were charged with a charge which carried the death penalty. All others had to provide for themselves. This in reality, meant that all those who could not afford it were left to defend themselves against the unlimited resources of the state.

The Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 1962 fundamentally altered this by providing that legal aid must be granted where it appears to the Judge that the defendant’s means are insufficient to enable him to obtain legal aid from his own resources and “by reasons of the serious nature of the offence or the exceptional circumstances , it is essential in the interests of justice that the person should have legal representation”.

Today’s position is therefore a much fairer position. In order to apply for legal aid, a person must fill out a sworn statement of means before court setting out their income and expenses. The general threshold is an income of €400 per week. However, Judges take into account the increase in the current cost of living and any other variables which may be present.

Please contact our office to see if you are entitled to legal aid  and if you are over the threshold we will try and give you the fairest price possible.

Mc garry law

Paddy Mc Garry, Principal, Mc Garry Law

Areas Covered








Who qualifies for free legal aid?

Anyone is entitled to apply for legal aid. Eligibility usually depends on the individual’s financial circumstances and the nature of the case.