Curious reporting of ‘news’ from the Irish Independent

Curious reporting of ‘news’ from the Irish Independent

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An interesting series of events last week in the ‘newspapaers’, specifically the Irish Independent.

Earlier in the week we sent a press release to the Indo’ for immediate print. In the article we explained how the time issues around Ben Gilroy’s current contempt case was forcing him to hand over the DDI leadership to Jan van de Ven. It also went into a few case details that have emerged from hearings thus far.

The major talking point was that Justice Ryan had made it definitively clear that the case was “entirely a civil matter”. This raised the problematic question for the courts as to why another sitting judge issued arrest warrants for Ben and two others which led to Ben having his home broken into by Gardai, who entered the upstairs of his home and handcuffed him in front of his young children. If this was clearly NOT a criminal matter then we must question how a ‘bank’ can possibly persuade a judge to use the Gardai in this way?

Surprisingly (or not) the Indo didn’t print the story, not even online. However a couple of days later they did print this:

Judge: court orders must not be defied by ‘mob rule’

 
Mr Justice Brian McGovern
High Court judge Mr Justice Brian McGovern

Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Editor – 14 February 2014

A SENIOR High Court judge has warned that if “mob rule” is allowed to prevail by people refusing to obey court orders, then Ireland is on “a slippery slope to anarchy”.
Also in this section

High Court Judge Mr Justice Brian McGovern (pictured) spoke about a “worrying trend” where people apparently tried to prevent the execution of court orders by turning up in court in large numbers.

Others might appear at sites where banks and creditors have received court orders to repossess land and property.

Judge McGovern manages the weekly High Court bankruptcy list and deals with commercial and banking disputes.

He was responding last night to questions about the so-called “Freemen of the Land” (FMOTL) movement at the inaugural Student Legal Convention held at University College Dublin.

There have been more than 100 cases in the last year in which borrowers have used versions of Freemen arguments to resist possession by receivers and banks.

The Freemen claim, among other things, that they don’t recognise the authority of the courts.

Judge McGovern wondered if the purpose of the “unfortunate trend” where groups gather in large numbers at the back of courtrooms was “to try and intimidate the judge”.

“Court orders have to be obeyed, it’s as simple as that,” said Judge McGovern.

” If we get to the point where a mob can appear in court or a mob can appear on land to resist a lawful order of the courts, well then the rule of law ceases to apply any more and then we are in the realm of anarchy”.

Judge McGovern said it is very important that the message goes out that court orders must be obeyed.

“I sometimes feel that while these things may have an innocent enough beginning, they do get out of hand,” he added.

Judge McGovern also told lawyers and students that the prospects for Ireland’s new personal insolvency regime were “promising” and could lead to a reduction in bankruptcy tourism.

The judge said it is “immediately apparent” that the number of debtors seeking self-adjudication has significantly increased since the bankruptcy regime was reformed.

Former banker and TD Peter Matthews said that hundreds of thousands of debtors had become “financial galley slaves” and estimated the Irish banking system needed another €53bn to deal with household and SME debt.

Other speakers at the convention, sponsored by Dublin law firm A&L Goodbody, included Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, Supreme Court judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne and Billy Hawkes, the Data Protection Commissioner.

Irish Independent

Hmmm, what case might he be referring to in that piece above? Perhaps their are multiple cases going on that fit that description, or maybe it is just an uncanny coincidence it sounds like he is talking about Ben’s case. Well maybe the fact that Brian McGovern was the judge who issued the arrest warrants gives the game away a little.

So what is going on here? We have Justice McGovern taking part in what was probably a very interesting Student Legal Convention at UCD on Thursday. There would have been many fascinating subjects discussed in depth, none of which have been reported by the Indo’s legal editor. Yet the only issue he is interested in is one arising from a question from the floor to which he has aligned Ben Gilroy’s case and by his tone defending the bank’s position.

One might ask why is that his only concern? How did the question even come to be asked, was it by the reporter or was it asked through a student? It all smells a little fishy in light of the information DDI sent the Indo about the case two days before, in which we asked for an apology from the media for their inferences about how Ben conducts himself in court now they have finally seen him in action and can find no fault. It didn’t stop them associating the same tired old nonsense with Ben again though as their article shows..

It is almost as if they gave right of reply to an article they never printed in the first place. Perhaps though it is just more political propaganda at its most blatantly obvious. It brings into serious doubt the intentions of the media and in particular political power groups that influence them.

Mob rule?

The article seems also to be missing the point of courts. Courts are supposed to be places of equity, justice and most importantly they are supposed to be places of public record. They are not supposed to be secret. Justice must be ‘seen to be done’.

The courts belong to the people and anyone is entitled to enter the court to ensure that justice is being done properly. Any judge administering justice properly and equitably is not intimidated by an audience. In fact they would welcome it. If a case is of particular interest to the people (as much as it seems to be for the Indo) then it is their right if not their duty to see that justice is done correctly.

It would appear that this article in the Independent might very well have overstepped the mark, and could be deemed as an attempt to influence another judge in the administration of Ben Gilroys case. We trust that Justice Ryan is not swayed by such clumsy journalistic practice and he will welcome the large and interested audience in the court.

In the mean time we hope that the Indo will make genuine efforts to print both sides of the story in any future publications, as many of their good intention journalists strive to achieve.

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25 Comments

  • Posted February 18, 2014

    Tirnanog33

    It is interesting that Fianna Fail recently rushed in to propose a Private Members Bill to protect the indebted clients of “Fingers” Fingleton’s building society “Irish Nationwide”.
    Most of the people who borrowed “easy money” from “Fingers” are the great and good “insiders” in the Golden Circle” of Irish politics.
    Would Fianna Fail be so quick to defend ordinary citizens from “vulture funds” if they were buying up loan books from other banks or building societies besides the politicians own lending institution.?

  • Posted February 18, 2014

    Joe

    excellent article and it is clear to see who’s sode the judiciary in this country side with..they will say they are fair and impartial, but when push comes to shove they tend to favour the establishment/Government…these judges have no place giving lectures to any group of young solicitors or whoever they were giving a talk to..all this is doing is inbreeding anohter batch of their own creed..thats who they are talking to, sons of well known Solicitors and other judges and Politicians and Barristers and the like….these “lectured ” crowd then will thumb down their noses at you and my children in years to come should we decided to oppose anything unjust….

  • Posted February 18, 2014

    Proinsías

    Reminds me of the British judicial system in Ireland during the land war and the evictions so impressed on the psyche of Irish memory (one would assume if our schools are imparting our history correctly), wait a minute, it is the same system, only the logo’s changed. Crown Judges in Dublin and across the country at the time referred to local native Irish who came out in support of families facing eviction as ‘common criminals engaging in acts of brigandage, unaccustomed to the rule of law and public order’. Are we as a nation suffering collective amnesia.

  • Posted February 19, 2014

    Mickey finn

    How is it that in the trial of the Anglo 3 the judge has given over an empty courtroom with a tv link so that the ” Crowds” can “sit in on the trial??????

    • Posted February 19, 2014

      Tirnanog33

      Bread and circuses.

  • Posted March 1, 2014

    MJ Daly

    Surely a Judge with a strong opinion towards one side on a matter, is biased and therefore unfit to try the case fairly?
    I have a strong suspicion that Ben Gilroy has a great case prepared and this judge’s bias will certainly help Ben’s case.
    A judges arrogance can make him forget that he is not there as a prosecutor for the private banks…
    I hope Ben’s case goes as well as I suspect it will 🙂

    • Posted March 1, 2014

      MJ Daly

      Either way, if Ben isn’t treated fairly, there are always appeals and the ECHR… 🙂

  • Posted March 2, 2014

    harry price

    `will it be now possible to get a fair trial before this judge..

  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Dave

    “The major talking point was that Justice Ryan had made it definitively clear that the case was “entirely a civil matter”. This raised the problematic question for the courts as to why another sitting judge issued arrest warrants for Ben and two others which led to Ben having his home broken into by Gardai, who entered the upstairs of his home and handcuffed him in front of his young children. If this was clearly NOT a criminal matter then we must question how a ‘bank’ can possibly persuade a judge to use the Gardai in this way?”

    Here you go Ben, here’s your answer. It does not matter if it is criminal or civil if you break a judges order, you are in a contempt and they have the right to have you brought to court.

    “Rules of the Superior Courts
    Order: 44 – Attachment and committal.

    1. An order of attachment shall direct that the person against whom the order is directed shall be brought before the Court to answer the contempt in respect of which the order is issued, and shall be in the Form No. 11 in Appendix F, Part II.

    2. An order of committal shall direct that upon his arrest the person against whom the order is directed shall be lodged in prison until he purge his contempt and is discharged pursuant to further order of the Court, and shall be in the Form No. 12 in Appendix F, Part II…

    7. Every order of attachment or committal shall be directed to the Commissioner and members of the Garda Síochána.”

    • Posted March 7, 2014

      bengilroysamjnr

      As the courts are constitutionally established, they must operate under the constitution, not ultra vires to same. There is no provision in the constitution to enter my home in a civil matter without my consent, in fact such action is repugnant to the said constitution. Irrespective of any court rule. The court rule you highlighted has no provision for entering my home. That’s the point.

  • Posted March 5, 2014

    EOD

    This contempt issue has nothing to do with the Civil nature of the case. The contempt issue is seperate and is Criminal contempt – indirectly. Question the authenticity and validity of the evidence for the allegations of contempt. Create doubt. Eoin F O Donnell

  • Posted March 7, 2014

    Brian

    No great mystery why the Independent Newspaper does not mention DDI, look who funded Dr AJF O’Reilly to set it up – the Oppenheimers in South Africa, one of the international banksters – ready to wake up?

  • Posted March 8, 2014

    David Shaw

    Look you do not seem to understand, it does not matter whether the contempt of court was civil or criminal. Once a Judge thinks that contempt has taken place they can order that the person be brought to the court to answer for the contempt. It was that order, an order for your arrest that allowed the entry to your home in accordance with the constitution.

    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1997/en/act/pub/0014/sec0006.html

    “6.—(1) For the purpose of arresting a person on foot of a warrant of arrest or an order of committal, a member of the Garda Síochána may enter (if need be, by use of reasonable force) and search any premises (including a dwelling) where the person is or where the member, with reasonable cause, suspects that person to be, and such warrant or order may be executed in accordance with section 5″

    If you can not understand these basic legal principles’ I really hope you talk to a solicitor before you go back to court.

    • Posted March 11, 2014

      bengilroysamjnr

      that’s a criminal matter you are referring to. contempt can be be civil or criminal mine is civil and as such nobody is entitled to enter my home. My young family live at my dwelling and the protection of them is higher than any man made statute. Gardai are not involved in any civil matter.

      • Posted March 11, 2014

        David Shaw

        You are incorrect Ben. When a contempt of court is alleged, it does not matter whether it is civil or criminal. Its is the same order of the court to bring the alleged person before that court and that is an order 37, Attachment and committal order.

        It was that order for your arrest / committal that allowed the garda under section 6 to enter your house and arrest you in accordance with the constitution.

        The only difference between civil and criminal contempt is the reason for the punishment.

        “Criminal contempt is a common-law misdemeanour and, as such, is punishable by both imprisonment and fine at discretion, that is to say, without statutory limit. Its object is punitive. 179 Civil contempt, on the other hand, is not punitive in its object but coercive in its purpose of compelling the party committed to comply with the order of the court, and the period of committal would be until such time as the order is complied with or until it is waived by the party for whose benefit the order was made”

        • Posted March 13, 2014

          bengilroysamjnr

          That is what the legal system would have you believe, firstly my home is not to be entered into full stop unless I commit a crime, that’s whether we have a constitution or not full stop. secondly all contempt is wholly the creature of the common law which has been bastardised by statute law. The constitution clearly states no man shall be deprived his liberty save as to law any civil matter is based on contract and consent and for the avoidance of doubt I dont.

        • Posted March 13, 2014

          bengilroysamjnr

          and how does order 37 or any other order of a civil administrative (quasi court) apply to me without consent

          • Posted March 13, 2014

            David Shaw

            What do you mean by quasi court and why would your consent be necessary.

            ” The constitution clearly states no man shall be deprived his liberty save as to law any civil matter is based on contract and consent and for the avoidance of doubt I dont.”

            Where does the Constitution differentiate between Civil and Criminal law, any articles I have looked at all just say in accordance with the law. + not all Civil law deals with contract and consent, in fact most civil law does not deal with contract law. for example if some one knocked me off my bike pure accident, I can sue them i for any expenses, that is civil law, no contract. Civil law is ever thing that is not criminal.

          • Posted March 14, 2014

            bengilroysamjnr

            here is where the difference in the laws within the constitution and in fairness most do miss it:
            FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
            Personal Rights Article 40
            4. 1° No citizen shall be deprived of his personal liberty save in accordance with law.
            and then there is
            The Family Article 41 1. 1° The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.
            there are the two different laws I trust this clarifies matters.

          • Posted March 14, 2014

            david Shaw

            There is no mention of a difference between civil and criminal law in either of these two articles and that was what I asked where in the constitution does it differentiate between civil and criminal law

          • Posted March 16, 2014

            bengilroysamjnr

            sorry Dave Your’e wasting my time if you don’t know the difference between positive law and law then I really don’t know what to say to you. perhaps a little check on google.

  • Posted March 16, 2014

    EOD

    I repeat because it is very important. This contempt issue is not ‘Civil’.

    You are being criminalised. It is the reason why your home was entered and the ‘perception’ allowing that to happen including the adherance or not to the inviolability of property ‘save the law’………

    This contempt issue has nothing to do with the Civil nature of the case. The contempt issue is seperate and is Criminal contempt – indirectly.

    Question the authenticity and validity of the evidence for the allegations of contempt. Create doubt.

    Eoin F O Donnell

    • Posted March 16, 2014

      bengilroysamjnr

      then you know better than me and Judge Ryan, i suggested to him that it was criminal and looked for a jury but he said no its entirely civil

      • Posted March 28, 2014

        EOD

        With reference to ‘reasonable doubt’ and criminal/civil distinction perhaps the following may help.
        In Re Bramblevale,30 Lord Denning, MR said:
        ‘A contempt of court is an offence of a criminal character. A man may be sent to prison for it. It must be satisfactorily proved. To use the time-honoured phrase, it must be proved beyond all reasonable doubt. ‘
        Fitzgibbon LJ in Attorney-General v Kissane and Wilmot CJ, in Rex v Almon would further support this distinction
        If you refer to these (after checking them) in your affidavit including a point on the criminal nature of your arrest and violation of your home will they be rebutted? If they are then it is on the record as civil for constitutional breach by the arresting officers violating your home. It gives you the options of a new case against the offending officers and the mechanism to tie or lock both cases.
        Reasonable doubt comes in many guises. May I suggest that you read Order 41, rule 8 of the Rules of the Superior Courts. Hint. There must be ambiguity as you were third party.
        Eoin F O Donnell

  • Posted March 25, 2014

    Daithi

    Curious lack of reporting of news from DDI, are you going to tell the public where your chairman is???

    Not a lot of transparency from a reforming party…

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