Volunteer honoured at Ennis Citizens Information Centre
Free Legal Aid provided by FLAC is one of the many support services available at Citizens Information Services nationwide. FLAC volunteers provide this service and expertise in many areas including Family Law and Employment Law. One such volunteer, Marie Keane has provided this service for the Citizens Information Service in Ennis Co Clare for many years. She recently received the FLAC Golden Pin Award for Long Standing and Committed Volunteering at a special event to mark her appointment as a District Court Judge.
"FLAC and the Citizens Information Service here in Clare are truly grateful to Marie, as a volunteer, for providing a much needed and valuable service," said Paul Woulfe, Manager, Clare Citizens Information Service. "The time and skills that she has dedicated to volunteering with FLAC, provided on a weekly basis at Ennis CIC, is an invaluable bridge between the difficulties that people are facing in their lives and the beginning of the solution to these difficulties."
Mairead Doyle, FLAC Co-ordinator in Clare added: "Although we have always been thankful for the contributions of free legal advice volunteers, we wanted to take another step in formally thanking them and to acknowledge their great commitment and work by setting up our FLAC Volunteer Awards Scheme added. The Award consists of a mention on FLAC’s Roll of Long Service Volunteers, a special Golden FLAC lapel pin and a certificate. We hope that Marie’s volunteer experience was positive and rewarding and we hope she keeps FLAC and the Citizens Information in mind and in her heart for a long time to come. We thank Marie so much for her time, skills and commitment to FLAC", she added.
Speaking on the occasion herself, Marie said that she believes that giving people access to the information and advice that they need at the time that they need it is an essential ingredient of access to justice. "This is why I value the partnership with the Citizens Information Service who provide a wide variety of information and advice supports and the FLAC advice centres complement and enhance the assistance available to the communities."
She added: "Assisting with FLAC has been very important to me for both my professional development and on a personal level. In my experience, the majority of queries which we are faced with at clinics relate to family law, employment law, contract issues and increasingly, housing and mortgage repayment issues. Callers who attend the clinics come from all walks of life and often can be quite emotional when recounting their particular issue. I have learnt the importance of listening to people and of balancing this with the need to gather the relevant information from them in order to be advise them effectively within the consultation period", added Marie Keane.
Paul Woulfe, Manager, Clare CIS also made a special presentation to Marie on behalf of all the CIS staff for her many years of dedicated service.
Pictured at the celebration event were: FLAC Solicitors Caitriona O'Connor, Caoimhe Collins, Conor Glendon and Shiofra Hassett Seated from left: Paul Woulfe, Manager, Clare CIS, Marie Keane, newly appointed District Court Judge and Mairead Doyle, FLAC Solicitor and member Board of Management.