Free Legal Advice Centre appoints Eilis Barry as CEO

New chief executive is a barrister and former head of the Equality Authority’s legal section

Eilis Barry, the new CEO of the Free Legal Advice Centre.

The Free Legal Advice Centre (Flac) has appointed Eilis Barry as its new CEO.

Ms Barry is a barrister and the former head of the legal section at the Equality Authority.

She specialises in employment law, anti-discrimination law and equality.

She will assume the position in September.


She was previously a board member and chairperson of Flac.

Ms Barry was also the editor of the Employment Law Reports and co-editor of a 2003 publication, Equality in Diversity: The New Equality Directives.

Announcing the appointment, Flac chairperson Peter Ward SC said he was delighted to welcome Ms Barry and the experience she brings.

“Eilis takes on the role with a deep commitment to Flac’s work and to access to justice.

“She brings to the role a wealth of knowledge and experience and we look forward to working with her.”

Ms Barry said: “I am honoured to be appointed to the position of chief executive officer with Flac.

“I look forward to leading the organisation and to working with its dedicated staff team towards the important aim of equal access to justice for all.”

Pre-budget submission

Last week in its pre-budget submission, Flac called on the Department of Social Protection to adopt a human rights-based approach to Budget 2017, saying "such a framework would ensure that budgetary decisions adhere to objective human rights standards set down in international law".

In particular, the organisation recommended that cuts to social welfare for those under the age of 26 be reversed.

“In the midst of the current housing crisis, Flac is especially concerned that these age-related social welfare cuts have increased the vulnerability of people under the age of 26 to homelessness, particularly those who are already disadvantaged and without family supports.”