Healy Questions while Ministers wash their hands of Law Breaking at Attempted Eviction at Corofin

Seamus Healy TD

Seamus Healy TD

Courtesy of Paddy Healy

Reply to Dáil Questions Submitted by Seamus Healy TD

QUESTION NO:  132

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)
by Deputy Seamus Healy
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 08/06/2016
To ask the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding a re-possession.
FULL QUESTION AS SUBMITTED:

Parliamentary Question to Minister for Finance for Written Answer

To ask the Minister for Finance , Mr Michael Noonan TD, if

In view of the statement of Journalist Carol Hunt in the Sunday Independent of 29/05/2016  in relation to the attempted eviction of Mr T. Collins from his home at Corofin Co Clare on Friday May 20: “The video footage is shocking. It shows a number of men, hooded, black scarves covering their faces, attempting to gain access to a private home. To even the most trusting of observers, they don’t look as if they can be up to any good.

Beside them, the car they allegedly drove up in – and which we will see them later drive off in – has no insurance or tax disc displayed and the registration number is covered over with tape. This is undoubtedly illegal.

Local men confront them, clearly agitated. Thankfully, there are gardai present and the traffic violations are quickly pointed out to them.

Except that, as the video footage unfolds, it becomes disturbingly clear that the gardai have no intention of noting these offences, that they are there purely to assist the hooded men in gaining access to the house. They are on the side of what looks like the bad guys.” and

In view of the fact that the recent attempted eviction of Mr T Collins at Corofin, Co Clare was carried out on an application for repossession by Bank Of Ireland Mortgages, a subsidiary of Bank Of Ireland in which the Minister, on behalf of the state, holds a 15% shareholding and

That Gardai were present when the evicting personnel arrived wearing hoods and scarves to conceal their identity and that the evicting personnel used a motorised vehicle in which the front and rear number plates were taped over to hide the registration number,

Will he seek a report from the board of Directors of BoI and from the public interest director as to how such a situation could arise and

Will he insist that in future BoI and it’s subsidiaries will publicly seek that the Court Service ensures that there is no repeat of such an event and that all individuals employed are readily identifiable and carry identification which is to be made available to the person to be evicted?

Seamus Healy TD 2802199

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REPLY.

As the deputy will understand, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on individual cases, or to intervene in any dispute that remains the subject of ongoing legal proceedings. The Relationship Framework in place between the State and the institution concerned also ensures that I cannot interfere  in the day to day running of that organisation.

If the Deputy has concerns about the manner in which this case was conducted, it would be appropriate for him to raise the issue with the Department of Justice.

(Comment by Paddy Healy: The events at Corofin can hardly be described as “the day to day running of that organisation (BOI). Seamus Healy did, as recommended by Minister Noonan, ask the Minister for Justice to investigate the events at the Corofin Eviction and to make a statement on the matter)

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QUESTION NOS:  86, 104, 105, 106, 107 & 108

DÁIL QUESTIONS addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)
by Deputies
for WRITTEN on Wednesday, 8th June, 2016.

*  86.  To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will address a matter (details supplied) regarding an eviction; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– Seamus Healy

FULL QUESTION AS SUBMITTED

To ask the Minister for Justice,  Frances Fitzgerald TD,

In view of the statement of Journalist Carol Hunt in the Sunday Independent of 29/05/2016  in relation to the attempted eviction of Mr T. Collins from his home at Corofin Co Clare on Friday May 20: “The video footage is shocking. It shows a number of men, hooded, black scarves covering their faces, attempting to gain access to a private home. To even the most trusting of observers, they don’t look as if they can be up to any good.

Beside them, the car they allegedly drove up in – and which we will see them later drive off in – has no insurance or tax disc displayed and the registration number is covered over with tape. This is undoubtedly illegal.

Local men confront them, clearly agitated. Thankfully, there are gardai present and the traffic violations are quickly pointed out to them.

Except that, as the video footage unfolds, it becomes disturbingly clear that the gardai have no intention of noting these offences, that they are there purely to assist the hooded men in gaining access to the house. They are on the side of what looks like the bad guys.”

 

Will the Minister consult the Garda Commissioner as to how these events including the commission of offences could occur in the presence of gardaí ,

Will she ensure that the driver is charged with hiding the registration number and

Will she give the name of the body(company, business) hired by the Courts Service to assist in the eviction  and the names of its owners and

Will she ensure that the Courts Service cease to hire unidentified individuals in implementing evictions and

Will she  report to the house at the earliest opportunity on the replies she receives,

And if she will make a statement on the matter?

Seamus Healy TD  087-2802199

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REPLY.

As set out in the Programme for a Partnership Government, the new Government wants to keep families in their homes, avoid repossessions insofar as is possible and introduce a number of further measures to help those in long-term mortgage arrears.

It is worth pointing out, for the sake of clarity, that the incident referred to occurred in the context of the execution of a repossession order at the home of an individual.

As the Deputies are aware, I have no role in relation to executing court orders. The courts are, subject only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of their judicial functions. It is therefore not open to me to comment or intervene in any way on the conduct or decision of a particular court case which is a matter entirely for the presiding judge.

The County Registrar, acting as Sheriff, is responsible to the Court for the Enforcement of the Court Orders and the law and procedures governing the execution of Court Orders is contained in the Enforcement of Court Orders Acts, 1926 to 1940 and the Rules of Court made thereunder and I have no function in this matter.   Any dispute in relation to the enforcement of a Court Order is a matter for the Courts.

The Garda Commissioner is directly responsible for Garda operational matters, including the direction and control of Garda members, which encompasses issues of discipline.  I have no direct role in relation to these matters.   

It is of course open to any person who has a concern about the behaviour of members of the Garda Síochána to register a complaint with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) which is the independent body established by law, with extensive powers, to investigate any allegations of Garda wrongdoing.

(Comment by Paddy Healy: The Minister is claiming that gardai and the court service permitting the offense of driving without number plates is an “operational matter”!!!)

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