Who we are
David Fennelly - Chairperson
David was appointed FLAC Chairperson in May 2021.
David Fennelly is a practising barrister based in the Law Library, Dublin and Assistant Professor in Law at Trinity College Dublin. David specialises in public law, with a particular interest in EU and international law, including in the fields of human rights and equality. David first became involved with FLAC as a student in Trinity and has served as a volunteer adviser at FLAC's legal advice clinics for many years. David joined FLAC Council in March 2019.
Peter Ward - Council Member
Peter Ward is a former Chairperson of FLAC, and is a Senior Counsel with a particular interest in employment law, public law and human rights law in general. He has been a member of FLAC for 35 years, since becoming involved with the organisation as a law student. Peter was formerly Research Scholar at University College Dublin, Lecturer in Law at University College Cork and a member of the executive of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. He is Chairperson of the O’Devaney Gardens Regeneration Board and Chairperson of the Employment Bar Association of Ireland.
Don Crewe - Council member
A UCC graduate, Don Crewe qualified as a Solicitor in 1986 and joined Cork-based legal firm Patrick Buckley & Co in 1988. He advises on all areas of conveyancing, representing both corporate and private clients in the acquisition, financing, development and disposal of commercial and residential property. Don also has particular expertise in licensing law with over 20 years’ experience in this area. He joined the national council of FLAC in 1989, and has been involved with the board ever since. Don is an Accreditied Commercial Mediator and sits on the National Council of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC). He is also a member of the Southern Law Association.
Julie Herlihy - Council member
A DCU graduate, Julie Herlihy is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor AITI. She was Chairman of the Chartered Accountants Leinster Society 2008-2009, during which time Chartered Accountants Voluntary Advice (CAVA), a service where volunteer Chartered Accountants provide advice and assistance on personal finance and debt issues, was set up. Julie Herlihy is an Institute of Chartered Accountants Council Member who serves on the Taxation Committee and the Oversight Board. She joined FLAC Council in November 2013. Julie has lectured extensively and written articles for the Institute and the Irish Taxation Institute.
Joanne Hyde - Council member
Joanne is a Partner with Eversheds Solicitors in Dublin, and is also Head of the firm's Employment Law Department. She worked as an in-house employment lawyer for the computer giant, Intel Corporation until 2007, when she re-joined private practice with Eversheds. She specialises in HR, employment and industrial relations law. Joanne is also the partner in charge of Corporate Social Responsibility at Eversheds, where she oversees services such as pro bono work. Having initially been a volunteer in one of FLAC's legal advice clinics, Joanne had also previously been a member of FLAC Council and rejoined it in 2012.
Eilis Barry - Chief Executive
Prior to joining FLAC, Eilis was a barrister specialising in all aspects of employment law, anti-discrimination and equality. She was the legal adviser of the Equality Authority and head of its legal section from 2000 to 2009, when she resumed practice at the bar.
A former board member and Chairperson of FLAC, Eilis drafted Case Law Review of Mental Health in the Workplace and authored Equality How?, a guide to taking cases under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2008 and the Equal Status Acts 2000-2008. She is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on employment and equality law. She is co-editor of ‘Equality in Diversity, the New Equality Directives’, ICEL No. 29, and former editor of the Employment Law Reports.”
Catherine Hickey - Director of Funding and Development
Catherine Hickey has been working in senior management roles in FLAC since February 2000. Prior to joining FLAC, she was Director of MDI (Muscular Dystrophy Ireland) for 10 years. She is a Director of Ballymun Community Law Centre and is a member of Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre's advisory board. Catherine has also been a board member and Company Secretary at Dublin City Centre Citizens Service since 2011 and was a director of the Wheel from 2005-2014. She graduated with Social Science and Master of Business Studies Degrees from UCD and obtained a Barrister at Law Degree from the King’s Inns in 1997. She is a recent graduate of the Common Purpose Meridian Programme.
Paul Joyce - Senior Policy Analyst
Paul Joyce BCL, BL is Senior Policy Analyst with FLAC. Paul has worked for FLAC since November 1991. He qualified as a barrister in 1984. His areas of responsibility include debt and consumer credit law and legal aid campaigning. Paul is the author of both FLAC reports on debt and the legal system in Ireland, An End based on Means? published in May 2003 and To No One’s Credit published in July 2009, as well as numerous policy submissions.He also has considerable expertise in the area of employment rights. He is a former member of the Financial Services Ombudsman’s Council and served as a member of the Cooney Expert Group on Mortgage Arrears and Personal Debt in 2010.In 2014, Paul authored the report Redressing the Imbalance, on the need for more robust rules to govern the provision of consumer credit and complaints mechanisms against financial service providers.
Sinead Lucey - Managing Solicitor
Sinead studied law in UCC before going on to do a Masters in International Law in the UK. She returned to Ireland where she qualified as a solicitor in 2000. Sinead then took up a position in the national Traveller rights group, the Irish Traveller Movement, in 2003. She then went on to do further work with the Equality Authority and also provided legal representation before Mental Health Tribunals to individuals involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act 2001. In 2008 Sinead joined the Irish Human Rights Commission as Senior Inquiry and Legal Officer, eventually becoming part of the newly formed Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission before joining FLAC in 2016.
Christopher McCann - Solicitor
Christopher is a solicitor. He joined FLAC in 2020, his role is to provide advocacy and legal representation to the Traveller community in cases that best advance the interests of that community in achieving equality and vindicating their human rights.
He studied law at Trinity College Dublin after which he undertook an internship in the Law Reform Commission and was a stagiaire in the European Parliament, Brussels. He trained with McCann FitzGerald solicitors and qualified in 2016. During his traineeship, he was editor-in-chief of the Hibernian Law Journal and part of the Law Society team which won the Corn Adomnáin international humanitarian law moot. Since qualification he has worked in litigation.
Christopher Bowes - Legal Officer
Christopher Bowes BL studied Law and Political Science in Trinity College Dublin. He was called to the Bar in 2020. He was editor-in-chief of the ninth edition of the King’s Inns Law Review (KILR). As a Legal Officer in FLAC, Christopher undertakes policy and research work in the areas of social welfare, housing and equality law. He is currently undertaking IHREC-funded research in relation to integrating human rights and equality standards into social welfare decision-making. He was previously project coordinator of the Equality Action project – a joint project of IHREC and FLAC which aimed to strengthen civil society engagement with the ongoing review of Ireland’s equality legislation.
Kelsey Lee - Legal Officer
Kelsey is an attorney from the US. She is licensed to practice in both the US state and federal court systems. As a lawyer and researcher, Kelsey has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, primarily providing assistance to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. She also served as an Adjunct Professor at Kean University, educating graduate students on human trafficking and working with trauma survivors. Currently working as a Legal Officer with FLAC's Independent Law Centre, Kelsey provides case work and clinic assistance. At the present time, Kelsey is also working on her Phd at Trinity College Dublin School of Law. Her research at Trinity explores the current legal definition of forced marriage and how to provide relief to survivors at the family court level.
Caroline Smith - Media and Communications Officer
Caroline started in FLAC as an intern in 2016 and joined the staff in 2017 as Media and Communications Assistant. She is a graduate of NUI Maynooth, and holds a B.A (hons) in Media Studies and Business. In FLAC her role is to develop, coordinate, promote and manage the media relations and general communications of the organisation.
Stephanie Lord - Legal and Policy Officer
Stephanie Lord joined FLAC in 2018 as Legal and Policy Officer. She has a degree in Law from UCD, a Diploma in Housing and Community Studies, and an MSc in Equality Studies from UCD. She previously worked in politics as an adviser for members of Dáil Éireann where she did legislative and policy drafting and conducted research in the areas of justice and equality. She previously specialised in the areas of education, social protection, housing, and children's rights. She has also taught law and politics at third level and in the further education sector. In FLAC Stephanie undertakes research and policy analysis with a focus on Access to Justice, Human Rights, Civil Legal Aid and Social Welfare.
Erin Brogan - Telephone Information and Referral Line Development Manager
Erin Brogan oversees the running of FLAC's telephone information line.
Erin qualified as a solicitor in 2008 and has worked for a number of years in private practice specialising in family, immigration, litigation, employment and property/probate law. Through the telephone information line, Erin offers first-stop legal information to callers on a variety of legal issues, including family law, immigration, employment law, landlord and tenant law, property disputes, wills and probate, as well as providing callers with information on other services they may avail of, such as FLAC's free legal advice clinics. Erin has also volunteered with FLAC previously in the areas of immigration and family law.
Ingrid Colvin - National Volunteers and Clinics Manager
Ingrid joined FLAC in 2019. Her role involved building volunteer capacity in FLAC clinics in Dublin and Cork, through working with local Citizens Information Centres and directly providing support and development opportunities to lawyers who deliver the FLAC clinics. Ingrid has been promoted to the new role of National Volunteers and Clinics Manager. Ingrid will have overall responsibility for the FLAC volunteer team and will continue working with CICs & supporting FLAC's volunteer legal advisors.
Ingrid has worked in the community and voluntary sector for over twenty years. She has managed projects in the area of restorative practice, youth justice and the prevention of sexual offending. She is a Restorative Justice practitioner and trainer with a particular interest in the areas of serious crime and sexual violence. She has managed volunteer involving projects and has volunteered herself both locally and internationally as a human rights observer in a conflict zone.
Sinead Scales - Volunteer Rostering and Support Officer
Prior to joining FLAC in 2020, Sinead graduated with a BA in Applied Languages and Translation studies from Dublin City University and worked in Human Resources in the private sector. In 2020, Sinead graduated with an MA in International Security and Conflict. She works as a News Contributor for a non-profit organisation with particular emphasis on developing humanitarian and human rights issues.
As Volunteer Rostering and Support Officer, Sinead is responsible for rostering FLAC clinics and providing support to volunteers.
Gillian Kernan - Research Officer
Gillian started in FLAC as an intern in 2007 and joined the staff in 2008 as Research Officer. She is a graduate of UCD, and holds a B.A (hons) in Economics and Geography, a Master in Economics, and a M.Sc. in Housing Policy focusing on the provision of affordable housing in Ireland. After graduating, Gillian completed an internship with UN Habitat in New York where she advanced her interest in Human Rights. In FLAC she is responsible for quantitative research conducted through analysing data collected from the FLAC centres and FLAC's telephone information line, which provides up-to-date statistics on the key areas of FLAC's work.
Shamika Dwarika - PILA Manager
Shamika Dwarika joined PILA in February 2022 as the PILA Manager. She is from South African and has a wealth of experience in the non-profit sector, particularly in the pro bono field. She is an admitted attorney with Right of Appearance in the Magistrate and High Courts and holds a LLB degree from the University of Natal (Howard College) and an LLM degree (Business Law) from the University of KwaZulu Natal (Howard College) in South Africa. She is a trained facilitator, has a basic counselling qualification and is a certified Taxing Master in the Magistrate and High Courts of South Africa.
During the course of her career, Shamika has lectured and practiced in the commercial and non-profit sectors in various provinces in South Africa. In addition, she fulfilled the role of Registrar of the Labour Court: Durban in an acting capacity before being appointed as the Regional Director of ProBono.Org (Durban). She filled this role for over 7½ years before leaving South Africa to join PILA.
Emily Dornan - PILA Legal Officer
Emily is the Legal Officer at PILA. She works closely with new and existing NGOs, community groups and independent law centres to identify areas of unmet legal need and collaborates with the legal profession to support the provision of pro bono legal assistance.
Emily is a solicitor qualified to practice in both Ireland and England & Wales. She spent six years in law firm, McCann FitzGerald where she completed her training and practiced in the area of litigation and dispute resolution. She spent two years as a Research Assistant in Trinity College, researching global political violence. Emily has a B.A. History & Political Science from Trinity College and an LL.M Law & Governance from Queen’s University Belfast. During her traineeship and studies, Emily was a member of the editorial committee of the Hibernian Law Journal and the editor-in-chief of the Queen’s Political Review. She also spent four years as a volunteer with FLAC in the McCann FitzGerald free legal advice clinic providing free legal advice to citizens who encountered difficulty accessing legal services.
Liz Lee - Receptionist
Liz began working at FLAC in 2014 and joined the staff in 2016 as Receptionist. Prior to joining FLAC Liz worked in the civil engineering and corporate sector. Her role in FLAC involves managing the day-to-day reception duties and general administration within the organisation.
Ruth Kilcullen - EAP Project Coordinator
Ruth is the Coordinator of the Equal Access Project. This is an EU-funded initiative to improve access to justice for people who are subjected to racial discrimination by providing training to advocates and conducting relevant research.
Ruth is a history graduate with a background in human rights and international development. After graduating from NUI Galway, Ruth went to work in human rights advocacy in Geneva, Switzerland. She then went to Niamey, Niger, as a volunteer, where she worked on projects related to the impact of climate change on women’s livelihoods. Ruth was the Manager of the MECPATHS campaign against sex trafficking in Ireland. She completed an M.Phil in Early Modern European History at Trinity College, and is working towards an M.Sc. in Climate Change Policy at DCU.