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[For further details of the Board’s procedures, please see in particular the “Guide to Hearing Procedures” published by the Board in April 2003].

Notice of hearing

68.When an application is considered ready for hearing, the Board will contact the applicant or his or her solicitor in writing.  Applicants or their solicitors will normally receive FOUR weeks’ notice of any hearing date, but hearings may be arranged at shorter notice by agreement.  A request for a change of the date set for the hearing will only be considered by the Board’s Registrar in exceptional circumstances.

69.The hearing will normally be in the Board’s premises in Clonskeagh, Dublin, but arrangements may be made in the case of applicants living more than 50 miles from Dublin for hearings to be held at a more convenient venue within the State, as considered appropriate by the Board.

70.With regard to applications from persons living outside the State, the Board has decided that it will as a general rule continue to conduct settlements and/or hearings of applications at its premises in Dublin.  In accordance with paragraph 76 below, all reasonable expenses incurred by an applicant travelling to Dublin for a successfully concluded settlement or for a hearing will be met by the Board.  

Where travel to Dublin by a person living outside the State is impossible or too great a burden, the Board will make every effort to settle the application informally (that is, without the need for a hearing)  and will for this purpose enter into negotiations in Ireland and/or by telephone, mail or otherwise with a view to reaching a settlement acceptable to the applicant.  In the small number of cases where a settlement of this kind is not possible, and the applicant satisfies the Board that he or she is unable to travel to Dublin, the Board will be willing to consider an application (supported by appropriate evidence) to hear the oral evidence of the applicant at a suitable location close to his or her place of residence.

The applicant’s oral evidence is but part of the evidence to be considered by the Board in any case.  Other evidence includes the application form, medical reports and other verbal and written information.  The other evidence will be received in Ireland only.  Having heard the oral evidence of the applicant, the Board will adjourn further consideration of the application and make its decision within Ireland.

71.The written evidence (“the hearing papers”) which will be taken into account at a hearing will normally include the following:

The application form;

Written proof of identity and residence provided by the applicant;

Any document which the applicant has specifically requested the Board to obtain and which has been provided by the appropriate person;

Any written statements given to the Board by persons giving evidence on behalf of the applicant;

All medical reports provided by the applicant to the Board;

Any written statement given to the Board by a relevant person;

Any written statement given to the Board by a person requested by the Board to provide evidence in respect of the application;

A medical report made by the Board’s medical advisers.

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