Irish Law Firm Appointed By Nicole Shanahan To Assist With An Investment Visa Programme In Ireland
California-based businesswoman Nicole Shanahan has handed a €500,000 cash boost to a Donegal GAA club.
Ms. Shanahan, CEO, and founder of ClearAccessIP chose the immigration law team at Gibson & Associates to provide vital assistance in applying for an investor visa, allowing her to establish a connection and residency in Ireland. An investor visa is a legal requirement for any non-EEA nationals and their families, should they wish to set up a business or reside in Ireland.
ClearAccessIP is the first company to provide an automated patent management and valuation platform to strategically manage intellectual property portfolios, allowing organizations to focus on their business goals. Ms. Shanahan has a keen interest in working on creative solutions to legal and social problems, in particular, high-tech-related legal issues that leverage her background in intellectual property transactions and prosecution.
The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) is open to non-EEA nationals who commit to an approved investment in Ireland. The IIP requires a minimum investment from the applicant’s own resources and must not be financed through a loan or other such facility.
Doireann Gibson, the managing partner at Gibson & Associates, said: “The investor program facilitates inward investment in a range of commercial and social enterprises, which creates advantages for both investor and recipient.”
Speaking of the investment into Ireland, Ms. Shanahan said she aligns with “culture and leadership that is refreshingly progressive in a way that is compatible with my own values. I am someone that believes in science and service to the community through work and charity. I’m very much attracted to the rising thought leadership in Ireland, especially as it relates to social policy, education, and the environment”.
Doireann, who is also an underage coach with CLG An Tearmainn, the GAA football club to receive investment from Ms Shanahan, said: “It has been a real pleasure to create the link between Nicole and CLG An Tearmainn. There is a great team of volunteers at the club, who have worked tirelessly to develop the club and uphold the core values of the GAA, which is completely aligned with Nicole’s own values. This extraordinary generosity will have a profound impact on the club and the community that it serves, and really couldn’t come at a better time.”
If you’d like to enquire about the Investor Visa or other immigration options, don’t delay, please call us now on +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you.
Has your employment contract been terminated? If your employer failed to follow the correct protocol, you could be the victim of unfair dismissal. This would permit you to make a claim under the Unfair Dismissal Act.
Read on to find out more about employee rights and unfair dismissal.
What is unfair dismissal?
Unfair dismissal is when your contract of employment is terminated without good reason. A dismissal is presumed to be unfair unless your employer has substantial grounds to justify it. According to the law, a dismissal might be justified if:
- You are not capable of performing your role, perhaps due to lateness, absenteeism or ill health
- You are not competent enough to perform your role
- You do not have the qualifications required to perform your role
- You have behaved in a way that amounts to misconduct
- You are fairly selected for redundancy
- Continuing with your employment would mean breaking the law
- Other substantial grounds
- If none of the above apply, your dismissal could be considered unfair.
It is important to note that unfair dismissal is different to constructive dismissal. Unfair dismissal is when your employer fires you. Constructive dismissal is when you take the decision to leave your job, but only because of your employer’s conduct.
Grounds for unfair dismissal
There are certain grounds for dismissal that are automatically deemed to be unfair. This includes:
Membership or proposed membership with a trade union or engaging in trade union activities
Religious or political opinions
Legal proceedings against an employer in which you are the claimant or a witness (for example, a personal injury claim)
Race, colour, sexual orientation, age or membership of the Traveler community
Pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding or any matters connected with pregnancy or birth
Exercising your rights to maternity leave, adoptive leave, paternity leave, career’s leave, parental leave or force majeure leave
Unfair selection for redundancy
Making a protected disclosure, meaning you raise concerns about possible wrongdoing at work (also known as ‘whistleblowing’)
Of course, your employer may try to cover their backs by pointing towards a justifiable reason for your dismissal – when in fact you are being let go for one the reasons outlined above. For instance, your employer may dismiss you shortly after you announce your pregnancy, yet he/she may claim that it is because you are not competent.
That is why the law places the burden upon the employer to prove that a dismissal is justified. In the above example, your employer would have to show that you fall short of the standard required of you, and that this has been explained to you. You should be told what improvements are necessary and given a reasonable amount of time to make these improvements. Only if the correct procedures are followed – and there really are substantial grounds for a dismissal – can an employer legally sack an employee.
Unfair dismissal redundancy
Claims of unfair dismissal often arise alongside a redundancy situation. In fact, redundancy is a fair reason for dismissal, but only if:
There is a genuine redundancy situation; and
The employee is fairly selected for redundancy; and
The correct process is followed
So, an employer cannot get rid of an unfavourable employee under the guise of a redundancy. Rather, there must be a bona fide reason for the redundancy. This could be that the company has stopped trading, is restructuring, or no longer requires that particular role.
Also, the employer must follow the correct procedures when deciding exactly who is going to be made redundant. It is not enough to simply pick on a particular employee – unless there is only one employee in the company or in that role. Instead, a selection criteria should be applied. For instance, it might be company practice to pursue a ‘last in, first out’ policy. Or, the decision could be based on employee attendance records. Any deviation from the selection criteria could amount to unfair dismissal.
Finally, employers must follow a set process when making an employee redundant. This includes consulting with him/her, looking for alternative roles, providing notice and providing redundancy pay. Again, a failure to follow the correct process could amount to an unfair dismissal.
Have I been unfairly dismissed?
Reading this, you might be wondering: have I been unfairly dismissed? The easiest way to confirm your legal position is to speak to our employment specialist . We can discuss the circumstances of your dismissal with you, establishing whether or not you have been the victim of an unfair dismissal.
Employee rights and unfair dismissal
If you have been unfairly dismissed, then you could be entitled to pursue legal action against your (former) employer. Indeed, employees are protected from unfair dismissal under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977-2015. Should an employer be in breach of the law, then an employee is permitted to make a claim, either via the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) or via the Labour Court.
If your claim is successful, then you will be awarded some kind of redress. This is typically a compensation award that reflects the financial losses you have incurred because of the unfair dismissal. It is also possible to have your job re-instated or re-engaged, although these remedies are rarely used because working relations are typically damaged beyond repair.
Who can claim for unfair dismissal?
There are rules around exactly who is allowed to make an unfair dismissal claim. The following grounds for unfair dismissal claims must be met, if you are to take the matter further.
You have been unfairly dismissed
Firstly, your dismissal must actually have been unfair. This seems obvious, but it is important to establish the basis for your claim at the outset. Otherwise you may pursue legal action that has little prospect of success.
As outlined above, there are certain grounds for dismissal that are automatically considered unfair. Some of the most common include unfair selection for redundancy, pregnancy/maternity leave, discrimination and religious/political opinions. Our employment specialist can confirm whether you have grounds for an unfair dismissal claim.
Your employer may deny that you have been dismissed. If so, you must provide evidence to the contrary.
You are an employee
Secondly, you must be an employee, as opposed to a contractor or self-employed person. Employees can work full-time or part-time. Agency workers are also covered by the legislation.
You have been employed for 1 year
Thirdly, you must have been continuously employed by the company for at least 12 months. Otherwise, you will not qualify for an unfair dismissal claim. There are some exceptions to this rule, including if you are dismissed on account of:
- Trade union activity
- Exercising your rights to maternity leave, adoptive leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave, parental leave or national minimum wage
- Pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding or any matters connected with pregnancy or birth
- Making a protected disclosure
If none of the exceptions apply in your case, you may still have grounds for a different type of employment claim. For example, if you are dismissed due to your ethnicity, you may be able to make a discrimination claim.
You were dismissed less than six months ago
Finally, you must adhere to the time limits that are imposed on unfair dismissal claims. The law states that you must make a claim within six months, starting from the date of your dismissal. You may be allowed to extend this timeframe to 12 months, but only if there is a reasonable cause for the delay.
Are part time workers covered by unfair dismissal?
We are often asked: are part time workers covered by unfair dismissal laws?
The answer is yes, part-time works are covered by the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977-2015. This means that if you are a part-time employee and you are unfairly dismissed, you will be entitled to make a claim – just as any full-time employee would.
Agency worker unfair dismissal
And what about agency worker unfair dismissal claims?
Agency worker unfair dismissal claims need to be assessed on a case by case basis. It might be possible to bring a claim against the employer who has hired you from the agency.
Apprentice unfair dismissal
Unfortunately, apprentices cannot claim for unfair dismissal. This includes apprentices who are in full-time training. It also includes statutory apprentices who are dismissed within six months of starting the apprenticeship, or who are dismissed within one month of completing the apprenticeship.
However, there are two exceptions to this rule. An apprentice unfair dismissal claim may be available if the dismissal relates to your:
Rights to maternity leave, adoptive leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave or parental leave
Pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding or any matters connected with pregnancy or birth
Unfair dismissal cases Ireland
Some unfair dismissal cases in Ireland are high-profile and involve high-earning individuals with senior roles. One example is a case that concluded in December 2019. The WRC ordered a tech company to pay a former Vice President €250,000 after his contract was abruptly terminated. The company had failed to comply with the rights and procedures contained in the company handbook.
Other unfair dismissal cases in Ireland do not make the news and involve individuals with a modest income. For instance, in January 2020, the Labour Court awarded €20,000 to a man who was unfairly dismissed from a call centre. He had been subject to disciplinary proceedings, but the Labour Court found shortcomings in the way these proceedings had been conducted.
Therefore, it does not matter what role you occupy or what company you work for. You do not have to earn a six-figure salary. If you have been unfairly dismissed, you deserve redress for the financial losses you have experienced.
Basic reward unfair dismissal
Compensation for unfair dismissal is limited to your financial losses. Compensation is not awarded for injury to your feelings or stress, as it is in some other jurisdictions. In fact, a basic award for unfair dismissal is usually capped at two years’ pay, or five years’ pay if you were unfairly dismissed for making a protected disclosure.
The WRC or Labour Court will calculate exactly how much you should receive based on your:
- Present losses – meaning the money you lost in between your dismissal and the claim hearing. You must try to mitigate your losses by finding alternative work. If you start a new job straightaway, you will be given four weeks’ pay as compensation.
- Future losses – which is an estimate of the money you will lose in the future, while you try to secure new employment.
- Pension loss
- Loss of statutory protection
Speak to our employment Specialist now
If you have recently been dismissed from your job, we understand the frightening position you find yourself in. You will suddenly need to find alternative employment, but meanwhile you must find a way to cover your outgoings. To make matters worse, you will probably be angry at being let go, and may be trying to determine what exactly you can do about it.
That is where we can help. The employment solicitors at Gibson & Associates can listen to the circumstances of your dismissal. Then, we will offer clear advice as to whether or not your dismissal was unfair. If so, we can manage the claims process on your behalf, getting the justice you deserve.
Sometimes, a resolution can be settled outside of court, whether through negotiation or a Settlement Agreement. Other times, a complaint must be made to the WRC, or action taken through the civil courts. We can recommend the best course of action in your particular case.
Don’t delay, please call us now on +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you.
Selling you home in Ireland. So, you’ve decided to sell your house. Perhaps you need to move for work, or your family have outgrown your first home and need some extra space? Or maybe you’ve found your dream property and you’re ready to take your next step on the property ladder.
Key Questions You Need to Answer Before Selling Your Home
Whatever the reason, the prospect of selling a property can be daunting, so we’re here to break down all the important questions you need to answer before you embark on the journey.
Is selling your house the best option for you?
Selling your property can be a long and expensive process, so it’s important that you’re 100% sure selling is the right option for you. Depending on why you’re selling your house, there may be cheaper alternatives that could work better for you in both the long and short term. For example:
Property Upgrades V Extensions
If you’re selling to upgrade to a bigger property but you’re happy in the area you’re currently living in – consider re-mortgaging and extending your current home instead. Not only will you be able to enhance a home you already love, but the extra work will likely add value to your current home in the long run, making it easier to afford an even bigger property further down the line.
Location Changes V Temporary Renting
If you’re moving away for work, selling your home might seem like the most sensible option. However, it’s worth thinking about what other opportunities are available. For example, if house prices are on the rise in your area, an alternative to selling right away could be to rent your home out for a while. This will keep your mortgage paid, (and potentially earn you a yield!) while, depending on the market in your area, increase your profits when you eventually decide to sell.
Downsizing V Modification
If you’re looking to downsize your property, it could be worth considering how you can modify your current home to suit your needs first. Selling and buying homes is expensive. The same can be true for modifying a home to suit individual mobility needs. However, the latter can be a more cost-effective route and it allows you to keep your beloved home.
Selling your home can you afford the move?
Unfortunately, selling your home isn’t as straightforward as simply handing your key to someone in exchange for a bag of money. In fact, there are a number of extra costs that you’ll need to consider. These include:
Estate agent fees: Expect to pay between 1 and 2.5 per cent in estate agent fees
Solicitor/conveyancer fees: Expect to pay between €1200 – €2000
Stamp Duty: 1% is paid on any property transaction up to €1,000,000
Removal: Moving your belongings to your new property.
While these costs aren’t eye-watering, they do add up. Add an unexpected cost while you’re in the process of selling and you’ll feel the pinch if you haven’t budgeted for these expenses.
How should you choose your estate agent?
Estate agents will charge anywhere between 1 – 2.5 per cent of your house value to sell your home for you, so it’s important you understand what’s included in their price before choosing them.
With so much choice available, it’s vital you do your research: read reviews, check their processes and talk to a variety of companies and get a feel for how they operate. It’s also a good idea to talk to the individual agents themselves! By working with people who you like and get along with you can make a stressful situation far less challenging. Note down what each estate agent offers as part of their service, and how their fees measure up against each other.
Many people choose to use a variety of estate agents in order to get a bigger market exposure. If you chose to do this too, be aware that whichever agent sells your property for you will be the ones you’ll need to pay – so repeat the above process with each agent you select!
What will you do after selling your home?
Before you put your home on the market, you’ll most likely have a good idea about what you plan to do. Most people will buy another property – while others may pocket any profit for whatever they have planned next.
Either way, considering your plan for after selling is vital. Will you start renting another property, or are you looking to buy again?
What do you need to do to get your house ready to sell?
In today’s world of Instagram filters and pristine Pinterest boards – there have never been higher expectations to meet. Home buyers want to walk into a house and be wowed – so if your home doesn’t have the “wow factor” then selling it might be an uphill struggle.
Avoid the stress of low, or even no offers, by making sure your house is well painted, well-furnished and well tiled before you invite any serious viewers in. Regardless of whether the new owner will redecorate, it’s the presentation side of things that really stands out to potential buyers. So, get the paint brushes out!
How much do you want for the property?
The unpredictability of the property market can mean that even if you have a selling figure in mind, that figure may no longer be achievable – or it could be really undervalued! That’s why it’s vital you get your property valued by a professional before you put it on the market.
Recently, Irish property prices have been on the rise – so, depending on when you bought your home, it’s easy to assume that you’ll be able to sell your home for a profit. However, depending on where you live and how much you bought your property for, this may not be the case. That’s why being aware of how much your house is actually worth is really important. Firstly, this insight will speed up offers, as you’ll be advertising your house in line with the current market’s prices. Secondly, you’ll end up with the best possible selling price for your market.
How should you choose a conveyancing solicitor?
In order to sell your house, you’ll need the help of a solicitor. They’ll do everything from drawing up the draft contract to organising a completion date – so it’s important you find a fully qualified property solicitor who has a great track record.
However, just a good track record isn’t everything. Because selling property can be such a trying experience, choosing a solicitor that shows a human side and empathises with the stress and financial implications of selling property can make the process far less challenging.
Check what previous clients have to say about the law firm and you’ll get a good idea of how a company treats their clients in general. It’s also worth talking to a combination of national or local conveyancing solicitors before you make your decision. While some local solicitors tend to offer a more friendly and attentive service, national conveyancing specialists can also provide an extremely valuable service. Find out about how we help clients all over Ireland sell their properties.
Are you prepared to wait in a property chain?
When selling a property, it’s likely you’ll end up in some sort of property chain. This means you’ll be waiting until either your seller or your buyer – or both – have exchanged their contracts on the other properties they’re buying or selling. For anyone who’s looking for a quick sell, it’s important to only accept offers where the chain is short or non-existent – otherwise you might find yourself stuck waiting for longer than you’d like.
First time buyers are often a good bet for people who need to sell quickly, as they’re not waiting to sell their own property. Cash buyers are also a good option, as they’re not waiting for their property to be sold to be able to afford to buy their next one.
Are you selling a freehold or a leasehold property?
If you’re selling a leasehold property, it means that you’re only the owner of the property and not the land it sits on. This is often the case with flats and apartments, although some houses can also be set up this way. Your land “ownership” will be for a fixed number of years, so you’ll need to bear this in mind when it comes to selling, as you may be selling a much shorter leasehold than when you bought the property. A good conveyancing solicitor will be able to advise you on this issue so you don’t run into any trouble.
How Gibson & Associates can help you
At Gibson & Associates, we offer conveyancing with the heart and soul of a local service, but we help people across the whole of Ireland.
We understand how stressful selling a property is, which is why we go out of our way to provide you with a service that provides the peace of mind you need. Our team has a wealth of experience when it comes to successfully closing property deals quickly, cleanly and efficiently across the country – from Dublin to Galway; from Cork to Donegal.
Don’t delay, please call us now on +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you.
Do Need an Irish visa? You will need a visa if you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national and you wish to enter Ireland. The type of visa you require depends on the purpose and length of your stay.
Need an Irish Visa? Let Us Help You Out
Our immigration solicitors offer a fixed fee immigration service. We can advise what type of Irish visa you need and can manage the application process on your behalf.
Do I need a visa to enter Ireland?
You do not need a visa to enter Ireland if you:
Are an EU/EEA national
Are a Swiss citizen
Have a valid Irish permanent residence permit
Have a travel document which was issued by Ireland
Almost everyone else must get a visa to visit, travel, work and study in Ireland, and to transit through Ireland while en route to another destination. This includes passport-holders from Russia, Turkey and the USA.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, you may be able to travel to Ireland under a valid UK short stay visa, so long as your visit to Ireland ends before your permission to stay in the UK ends. This is permitted under the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme, but only applies to certain countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Chinese and Indian nationals may also use a single short stay visa to visit both Ireland and the UK under the British Irish Visa Scheme.
What type of Irish visa do I need?
The type of Irish visa that you need depends on the length and purpose of your visit. There are five main types of Irish visa:
Short stay visas
Long stay visas
Multiple entry visas
We explain the different types of Irish visa in more detail below. If you remain uncertain as to which visa you need, please contact our immigration solicitors. We offer a fixed fee immigration service and can explain what kind of visa best suits your situation.
Short stay visas
Short stay visas are valid for 90 days or less. Short stay visas are also called ‘C’ visas. There are different short stay visas available.
A tourist visa allows you to travel in Ireland for up to 90 days, be it for leisure or study. As with all short stay visas, it does not allow you to work or use any publicly funded services for free.
A business visa allows you to travel in Ireland for up to 90 days for business or work that lasts for 14 days or less. This means you can attend meetings and negotiate or sign agreements/contracts. You cannot work for longer than 14 days. This is a common point of confusion, and we are often asked: how long does a business visa last? The answer is that the visa lasts for 90 days, meaning you can remain in Ireland for three months. However, you can only work for 14 days out of these 90 days.
A family or friends visa allows you to travel in Ireland for up to 90 days, for the purpose of visiting family or friends who reside in Ireland.
A conference or event visa allows you to travel in Ireland for up to 90 days for the purpose of attending a conference, symposium, or other event.
An employment (atypical working scheme) visa allows you to work in Ireland on a short-term basis, so long as you have approval from the Atypical Working Scheme Division of the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service. The Atypical Working Scheme is aimed at those who are required by a company or organization in Ireland to provide ‘atypical’ work. This includes people working in industries where a skill shortage has been identified or that require specialized skills. It covers locum doctors. You cannot undertake any other type of work under this visa.
An exam visa allows you to sit an exam that is necessary for your current employment or study. The exam must be required for your job or course; otherwise, the visa is not valid.
A join ship visa allows you to join a ship that is departing from Ireland. You do not need a visa if you hold a Seafarer’s Identity Document issued by certain countries.
A marriage visa allows you to come to Ireland to marry, regardless of whether you are in a same-sex or an opposite-sex relationship. You can only apply for the visa once you and your partner have received an acknowledgement from the Registrar confirming your wedding date.
A medical treatment visa allows you to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days for a medical procedure in a private hospital. The procedure must be unavailable in your country of permanent residence, you must have the procedure booked in, and you must pay for it in full. You cannot use Irish public services for free, such as public hospitals.
A performance or tournament visa allows you to visit Ireland for up to 90 days to stage a performance or participate in a competition. This includes sports, dance, chess and debating competitions. You can be paid, so long as the event does not last longer than 14 days.
A training visa allows you to attend a training course in Ireland for professional development for up to 90 days. This must be arranged by the company you work for, or an organisation you belong to.
A visa for non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss citizen travelling with EU/EEA/Swiss family allows people who are non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens to accompany family members to Ireland for a single journey of up to 90 days. To be eligible you must be a ‘qualifying family member’, such as a spouse, child, or a dependent parent/grandparent/child. Your family member must be a passport holder from an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland.
Long stay visas
Long stay visas are valid for more than 90 days. Long stay visas are also called ‘D’ visas. There are different long stay visas available.
A study visa allows you to study in Ireland for more than three months.
A join a family member visa/Irish spouse visa allows you to live in Ireland for more than three months with a family member who is an Irish citizen or who lawfully resides in Ireland. This is often referred to an Irish spouse visa, although these visas can also be obtained by children and de facto partners. A de facto partner is when you are not married or in a civil partnership but you have been cohabiting for at least two years.
An employment visa allows you to work in Ireland for longer than three months. You must first find a job and then get an employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. If you’re coming to Ireland to work, you probably want to know: how long does a work visa last? The answer is that it depends on the type of work permit that has been issued. Most employment permits are issued for 24 months initially.
An employment (researcher visa) allows you to carry out scientific research in Ireland. This must be done under a ‘hosting agreement’.
An employment (Van der Elst) visa allows you to work in Ireland on behalf of your employer, so long as your employer is based in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland. Your work contract can last up to a maximum of 12 consecutive months.
A minister of religion visa allows you to work in Ireland as a Minister of Religion for an eligible religious body or faith community for up to three years.
A stamp 0 visa/retirement visa allows visiting academics/researchers to work in Ireland for 12 months, although they must be paid outside Ireland. A stamp 0 visa may also be granted to persons of independent means, and to elderly dependent relatives who are sponsored by a family member who is lawfully residing in Ireland. Stamp 0 visas are therefore useful for those who wish to retire to Ireland.
A volunteer visa allows you volunteer in Ireland with an eligible organisation for up to two years.
If you are from a visa-required country and you plan to leave Ireland for a short period (up to 90 days) and return again, then you will need a re-entry visa. As of 13 May 2019, this does not apply to adults who hold a valid IRP/GNIB card.
If you are from a visa-required country and you are travelling through Ireland while on your way to another destination, then you will need a transit visa.
Multiple entry visas
If you are from a visa-required country and you wish to enter/leave Ireland multiple times, then you will need a multiple entry visa. This allows you to visit Ireland on numerous occasions. This might be needed for business trips, for example. Otherwise, your visa will only allow for a single entry to Ireland. A multiple entry visa permits travel to/from Ireland for short trips, and is contained to the dates on your visa.
How do I get an Irish visa?
You can get an Irish visa by making an online application through the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). You can do this yourself, or you can ask an immigration solicitor to do it for you.
You will have to pay for legal fees if you use an immigration solicitor. However, there are significant advantages of using a professional. A solicitor can advise what type of visa you are eligible to. This ensures you do not waste your time and money applying for a visa that will ultimately be unsuccessful. You might not even need a visa if you are eligible to enter the country under a reciprocal agreement.
If you do need a visa, your solicitor can manage all the hard work for you. Not only does this make your life easier, it also gives your application the best chance of success. This is because a specialist immigration solicitor knows the system inside out. They can submit the correct information and present it in the right way, preventing any delays. If any unforeseen complications arise, your solicitor will know how to resolve them, keeping your visa application on track.
Is the application to obtain an Irish visa complicated?
Each visa application requires that you submit various documents. These vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. However, none of them are particularly straightforward. Even a short term tourist visa demands that you submit:
Application summary sheets
An application letter
A holiday, study or vacation plan
Proof of fee payment
Your passport and photocopies of your previous passports
Two passport-sized colour photographs
A finance plan
Proof that you will return home
If you fail to submit the correct documentation, or you make a mistake, the application will be refused or rejected.
How long is the application for an Irish visa?
So, how long does it take to get an Irish visa? Unfortunately, there is no set answer to that question. According to the INIS website, all applications are ‘processed in date order’. An application will only be expedited in certain circumstances.
Estimated processing times depend on the type of visa, your nationality and the time of year. A tourist visa is generally issued within eight weeks of INIS receiving your application. A join a family member visa (Irish spouse visa) can take between six and 12 months, depending on the status of your sponsor. The INIS website has further information about estimated processing times.
Your application will be delayed if you make a mistake, fail to submit the correct documents or further investigations are required – for example, because you have a criminal conviction.
Can I travel Europe with an Irish visa?
No, an Irish visa is not a passport to travel across Europe. Under the British Irish Visa Scheme, certain people are allowed to travel to Northern Ireland and the UK using a valid Irish visa. Otherwise, you must have a separate visa for each European country that you wish to visit. This includes Northern Ireland and the UK.
Let our immigration solicitors help you
Applying for an Irish visa can be extremely confusing. There are lots of rules and red tape to navigate your way around. There is also a significant amount of paperwork involved, making it a daunting task.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then our immigration solicitors can help you. We can advise what type of visa you need to apply for. Then, we can manage the process on your behalf. This removes the burden from your shoulders, increasing the chances of a successful application.
We know that you’ll want your visa to be secured as quickly and as efficiently as possible, allowing you to start (or resume) your life in Ireland. We’re here to make that happen. Our immigration specialists hold legal advice clinics. Thereafter, we offer a fixed fee immigration service, ensuring you know exactly what costs to expect.
Complete our online enquiry form, or phone us on+353 (0)1 872 3143 today.
Need an Irish Visa? Here is important Links for you….
British Irish Visa Scheme
Seafarer’s Identity Document
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
Estimated Processing Times
Do I have a personal injury claim. Our head solicitor of our Personal Injury Department Amanda Walsh is based in Dublin, in our Capel Building office. Recently, I asked her what are the most common questions clients asked about a personal injury claims? Below are the questions that our Personal Injury team commonly respond to, and a brief answer to the questions.
Q 1. Do I have a personal injury claim?
Generally if you suffer an accident due to someone else’s fault you could have a personal injury claim. Or, if you can answer yes to either of the below questions, would give a good indication of you have injury claim eligibility:
Did the accident or incident cause me a visible injury, or pain (some injuries are not visible for example whiplash after a car accident), and not just damage to my property?
Do you suffer from psychological trauma as a result of the incident, for example depression or anxiety?
A personal injury claim enables you to recover compensation; for damages done to you physically, financially and/or psychologically.
There are many causes of personal injury from traffic accidents, trips and falls in public places, work accidents, medical mistakes etc., but, the accident generally should be the fault of another person(s) negligence.
No two personal injury claims are the same, many factors have to be taken into consideration. Even such factors as age and gender can impact on claims.
Q 2. When do I need to start the personal injury claims process? What is the time frame involved, and how long it will take to get a result?
So, you’ve been in an accident some time ago…maybe it’s too late to claim? Generally, in Ireland, you must start a personal injury claim within two years of the accident occurring. This is known as the statute of limitations, after the two years is up the case is barred. But, there can be some exceptions to the rule, for example, maybe the injured party was under 18 years old at the time of the accident.
The length of time it takes to process an injury claim can vary, but the Personal Injuries Assessment Board state that the average time frame is seven months. And we usually find it takes somewhere between six and nine months, then the payout of compensation normally happens within a month of finalisation from the Personal Injuries Board. But, if the claim ends up in the courts (litigation) the claim assessment could take up to three years.
Q 3. Who are the Personal Injuries Board and what to they do?
The Personal Injuries Board (PIAB) is Ireland’s independent government body that assess personal injury compensation claims. All personal injury claims go to PIAB (except Medical Negligence cases), unless the claim has been settled early by claimant and other parties involved. Your solicitor will deal with PIAB on your behalf.
PIAB will provide an assessment on your claim for compensation, its primary role is to quickly value claims and make awards that can be accepted or rejected by the claimant(s).
Q 4. Why are medical reports needed and what are the costs?
A medical report is required to prove that the reported accident caused the injuries that were sustained. This report will help prove injuries such as pain, loss and suffering; and details on the nature of the injury, the effects this will have on the injured and how long recovery is likely to take.
Your personal injury solicitor can request your medical reports, for you, from your doctor; reports need to be received within two months of the injured person being examined. Under Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004, there are severe sanctions for inaccurate medical reports — the reports should be as accurate as possible of the injuries sustained.
Fees for medical reports can vary. Different GPs will have different charges, reports could cost in the region of €100, and some could go up to €400. If specialist’s medical reports are required this will cost significantly more. The injured person that’s making the claim usually will have to pay for these reports; but can claim the payment back, if their case is successful.
Q 5. If my injury caused me to be off work, what do I do?
If you wish to claim compensation for the injury, you should proceed to claim with the help of your solicitor. But, in the meantime you may be entitled to benefits to compensate for your loss of earnings. There are two scenarios here:
1. Was it a workplace accident that caused the injury?
If the accident happened in work or on the way to work, you should report the accident to your employer. Then, you should check your employment contract for sick leave entitlements. In the case of no entitlements, you could still be eligible for Injury Benefit: a payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
2. Was it an accident caused somewhere other than the workplace?
If the injury now has caused you to take sick leave, you can apply for illness benefit, subject to PRSI conditions. If it was a serious accident that is causing you to take leave of at least one year, then a disability allowance might be available to you. Your local citizens information office will provide you more information on these payments.
Q 6. What are the costs of the case? How much compensation do I get?
Your solicitor will discuss fees with you, there might be a no win no fee agreement. This is common in personal injury cases, it means that if the case is not successful, the claimant won’t have to pay legal fees. Other typical fees for personal injury cases include the Personal Injuries Board Application PIAB fee, this is set at around €45. And, then there is your medical report fee, as previously discussed.
Compensation depends on many factors, but guideline payout amounts for different injuries can be found in the PIAB Book of Quantum. Or, if you wish to look up an estimate of the typical compensation for an injury, you might find a personal injury claim calculator useful; many of these calculators can be found online.
Q 7. Will the matter go to court? And will the case be in the media?
Not normally. Most, probably over 90%, of personal injury cases are settled before reaching a stage of having to go to court. Usually, if the case ends up in court it’s because the parties involved have failed to agree on a compensation outcome. But, your solicitor will still prepare your case as if it will be presented in the courts.
Other times that personal injury cases end up in court are due to the Personal Injuries Board declining the case; this could be due to the nature of the claim, time frames involved, issues with the insurance company or the claimant’s medical prognosis.
You will sometimes read about compensation payouts in the media. But the majority of claims won’t be in the news. Claims might make the headlines if there’s a high profile individual or organisation involved; a large settlement agreed; or, the case is particularly unusual, e.g a lady sued Starbucks for putting too much ice in her… iced coffee! Yes, this happened.
A medical misdiagnosis can have dire consequences, potentially resulting in a poor outcome, reduced life expectancy, and prolonged pain and suffering. If this has happened to you or your loved one, please contact us now for expert legal advice. You could be entitled to pursue a medical negligence claim against those at fault.
Common types of Medical Misdiagnosis in Ireland
Medical misdiagnoses typically fall into one of three categories:
1. Misdiagnosed injuries
2. Misdiagnosed medical emergencies
3. Misdiagnosed chronic illnesses
GP surgeries and A&E waiting rooms are full of people who have sustained some kind of injury. It is the duty of the attending medical practitioners to investigate these injuries in full, and to carry out any tests that may be needed to confirm a diagnosis. A treatment plan should then be determined based on the results of these tests.
Unfortunately, this level of care is not always provided. It is surprising just how many injuries go undetected. A patient may have to seek medical attention twice, three times, or even more in order to secure the correct diagnosis. In the meantime, their injury is left untreated, causing ongoing pain and suffering. The delay in treatment may also affect the ultimate outcome.
Example of a medical misdiagnosed injury
Take a fractured bone sustained following a fall, for example. The attending medical practitioner should note a patient’s symptoms of pain and swelling and the fact that he has recently fallen over. This should prompt the doctor to order some x-rays, which should then be assessed by an experienced radiologist.
But what happens if the treating medical practitioner dismisses the idea that a bone has been broken? Then, x-rays are not carried out and the patient is sent home with a missed fracture. He continues his day-to-day life, suffering through the pain. He doesn’t go back to the hospital for several weeks because he has been told the bone isn’t broken.
Eventually, he seeks medical help once again. This time x-rays confirm a fracture. But by now the bone has fused together in the wrong place. Consequently, surgery is needed to re-align the bone. This results in a prolonged recovery time, an operation, and an underlying weakness – all of which could have been avoided, had the fracture been correctly diagnosed when the patient first attended the hospital.
Common types of medical misdiagnosed injuries
Injuries that are commonly misdiagnosed include:
• Head injuries
• Spinal injuries
• Ruptured tendons
• Torn ligaments
• Birth injuries, particularly perineal tears
• Eye injuries
Misdiagnosed medical emergencies
Medical emergencies are precisely that: an emergency. A correct diagnosis must be quickly obtained. This ensures medical staff is able to start the right form of treatment straight away. Only with this timely action does a patient stand a chance of making a recovery, whether in full or in part.
Yet there are times when medical emergencies are misdiagnosed. Typically, a patient presents with symptoms, but these are misinterpreted by the GP or hospital staff. The patient is then either sent home or is treated for an entirely different medical issue. Their condition, therefore, deteriorates, potentially with disastrous consequences.
Example of a misdiagnosed medical emergency
Just imagine a case of appendicitis. Appendicitis is by no means unusual, but it is frequently misdiagnosed. What happens is that the patient presents to their GP or A&E department complaining of abdominal pain, possibly with vomiting and fever. These symptoms are red flags and should quickly lead medical practitioners to investigate the possibility of appendicitis.
But instead of further diagnostic tests being carried out – or the patient being kept in hospital for monitoring – she is wrongly diagnosed with another illness such as gastroenteritis. She returns home but rapidly gets worse, suffering increasing pain, high fever, and more vomiting. Eventually, her appendix ruptures, causing the infection to spread across her abdomen.
Without immediate treatment, a ruptured appendix is fatal. Treatment involves open abdominal surgery, rather than keyhole surgery (as would have been the case, had she been diagnosed earlier). She will be extremely unwell, will have a prolonged recovery time, and a significant scar across her abdomen. All of these outcomes could have been avoided, had the appendicitis been correctly diagnosed in the first instance.
Common types of medical misdiagnosed emergencies
Medical emergencies that are commonly misdiagnosed include:
• Ectopic pregnancy
• Ruptured bowel
• Brain hemorrhage
• Cauda equina syndrome
• Heart attack
• Organ damage sustained during surgery
• Pulmonary embolism
Misdiagnosed chronic illnesses
A chronic illness can also be described as a long-term illness. It is not a medical emergency, and so does not require treatment within 24-36 hours of symptoms appearing. But nevertheless, a timely diagnosis is needed to alleviate the patient’s discomfort and to secure the best possible outcome.
If an ongoing illness is not diagnosed, the patient’s condition will likely worsen, making it harder to treat. This might mean that treatment is ultimately ineffective. Or it might mean that more extensive treatment is needed, something which could have been avoided, had the illness been identified earlier.
Example of a misdiagnosed chronic illness
Many misdiagnosis cases relate to cancer. A patient may report certain symptoms, often returning again and again to their GP, only to be repeatedly misdiagnosed. The treating medical practitioner may mistake the symptoms for something else, perhaps dismissing the idea of cancer due to the patient’s age, or simply due to ignorance.
Of course, what a GP should do is send a patient for testing, in order to rule out the possibility of cancer. If this is not done, then cancer will remain undetected for weeks, months, or even years. Alternatively, it could be that the patient is sent for testing, but the results are lost, misreported, or misinterpreted.
When it comes to cancer, it is generally the case that the faster treatment is carried out, the more hopeful the outcome will be. If cancer is left to its own devices, it will grow and spread across the body, making it increasingly difficult to treat. Once it is discovered, medical practitioners may have no choice but to perform aggressive and/or invasive treatment. Or, it may be too late. This will be heart-breaking for the patient, as this bleak prognosis could have been avoided, had the cancer been detected in the early stages when he/she initially sought medical help.
Common types of misdiagnosed chronic illnesses
Chronic illnesses that are commonly misdiagnosed include:
• Diabetes/gestational diabetes
• Kidney disease
• Pregnancy complications
• Crohn’s Disease
What are the effects of being misdiagnosed?
As the examples described above highlight, the effects of a misdiagnosis can be catastrophic. It can cause the patient:
• A prolonged period of pain and suffering
• The need to undergo more extensive treatment
• A poor outcome
• Long-term injuries and scarring
• Psychological distress
• Fatal complications
If a patient does survive a misdiagnosis, the delay in treatment may continue to impact their lives in the long run. For instance, a missed wrist fracture can limit a person’s ability to carry out their job, meaning they have to seek alternative employment. A delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome, whereby the nerves in the lower back are compressed, can result in paralysis, sexual dysfunction, and bowel dysfunction. Clearly, this will impact every area of a person’s life, affecting their career, relationships, and hobbies.
All of this can also have a devastating effect on the patient’s family. Relatives and friends may need to act as carers, or take on additional responsibilities. This can also damage the family’s finances, especially if the patient is forced to give up work.
Along with the physical and financial implications, there will no doubt be a degree of psychological harm. The patient will probably feel anger towards those responsible for the misdiagnosis. Knowing that the outcome could have been different will be hard to accept, and may result in resentment, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Can misdiagnosis be malpractice?
If this has happened to you or your loved one, you might be wondering whether the medical practitioners in question have acted negligently. The easiest way to answer this question is to contact us at Gibson & Associates for legal advice. We can advise whether you have been the unfortunate recipient of substandard medical care. We can also say whether you are legally entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.
Before you contact us, you might be interested to know exactly when a misdiagnosis will amount to medical malpractice. Essentially, it all comes down to whether another competent medical practitioner would also have misdiagnosed the same illness or injury.
So, if you attended A&E with a recent history of trauma and pain/swelling in your limb, would another A&E doctor also have failed to order an x-ray? If another competent doctor would have reached the same conclusion in the same circumstances, then there has not have been a case of malpractice. But if another competent doctor would have taken a different course of action, then the standard of care has fallen to an unacceptable level.
If the medical care you received was substandard, then you could be in a position to make a medical negligence claim – but only if you have suffered some kind of harm. Occasionally, a misdiagnosis will not have any bearing on the final outcome. It could be that while the diagnosis was delayed slightly, a correct diagnosis was achieved quickly enough to avert adverse consequences. Or, it could be that the timing of treatment is not urgent, so a delay would not influence the patient’s condition.
However, it is very likely that a misdiagnosis will cause you some kind of injury, be it physical, emotional or financial. If so, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages.
What should I do if I think I have medical misdiagnosed?
If you think you have suffered because of a medical misdiagnosis, we urge you to contact our solicitors as soon as possible. You could have grounds for a medical negligence claim. This allows you to take action against those responsible, ensuring that you are properly compensated for damages you have wrongfully experienced.
It can be difficult to understand exactly why mistakes were made, and whether anyone is to blame. Medical practitioners and hospitals rarely admit fault, meaning you may be left with many unanswered questions. We can clarify your legal position, explaining whether you have been the victim of medical malpractice.
Call us now at +353 1 264 5555 or use our Online Enquiry form and we’ll be glad to assist you.