Constitution Halts Sheriff

Ben Gilroy’s halting of a Sheriff using only the Constitution of Ireland has become a viral video over night. With reported viewings as far a field as Irishtown in New York, USA.

In this video the Sheriff is greeted at the gate of this dwelling by a crowd of people with the best interests of the family in mind. Ben immediately asked the Gardai were they there under their oath. This was to immediately remove any doubt that they Gardai were there on that day performing for a private entity, and not performing the job the Irish taxpayer pays them for, protecting the peace. It is readily apparent in the video that the Gardai in question does not understand the question, having made his oath under the constitution of Ireland, upon taking on the role. More after the video.

Sheriff Halted By Constitution

Another important point about this video, that may not be readily apparent, is that the man Ben is talking to, seems to be perfectly aware of the unlawfulness of his role. He immediately attempts to claim that he is in fact the Sheriff. This seems to be done in an attempt to hide the fraudulent nature of the transaction as described by Ben, where in the county registrar is also the Sheriff. In effect, this allows the man in question to order the eviction of a family from their home, and then directly profit from that eviction. This, as Ben happily points out to the so-called Sheriff, is totally unlawful as it breaks laws regarding separation of power.

On a more light-hearted note. Note how when Ben is questioning the so-called Sheriff on his role, and continually mentions the Constitution, the so-called Sheriff exclaims “I’m nothing to do with the Constitution”. The Gardai immediately look as though they would rather be anywhere else in the world but at that gate. As Ben says himself, the man arrived a bit late to execute the order, as his jurisdictional ended in 1922. His GPS must have led him to the wrong Island!

We have since posted a follow-up video of what happened next.

15 thoughts on “Constitution Halts Sheriff

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  1. Great stuff, very encouraging, superlatively capable, very stimulating, and so, as the reader surely realises, for those of us who are blessed / cursed to be intellectuals, or, even worse, fated to incorrigibly seek “truth” (:-O), it engenders a necessary minimum amount of due diligence.

    I’d be interested to know how the Registrar’s order ended it’s legality in 1916?
    The first Irish constitution wasn’t until 1922, and anyway, even the 1937 Constitution says its unlawful, but not illegal, the legal ie financial debt still exists legally, right?

    The title says the Constitution stopped the Sheriff. Did it? Ben says the Irish Constitution states the issue clearly:- Fundamental rights – Section 40 subsection 5 “The Dwelling Of Every Citizen Is Inviolable And Shall Not Be Forcibly Entered Save In Accordance With Law.” (Ben’s initial caps). One notices it does not mention “Common Law”, it merely says “law”, which could be thought to also include “Civil Law” (ie all things “legal”, including orders and warrants for possession relating to mortgages and secured loans as they are always issued by civil courts).

    So how does one know it doesn’t mean civil law? Do Irish statutes define what the word “law” means? Neither the term “common law” nor the word “common” appear in the Interpretation Act 2005 of Ireland. And that Act uses the word “law” to refer indescriminately to Acts of the Irish parliament:- Section 7 subsection (1)(a): “in the case of an Act of the Oireachtas, the signed text of such law as enrolled for record in the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court …”

    So if its arguably not the constitution that stopped the Sheriff’s helpers, what did? Acting assertively, but also politely and reassuringly, and always remaining in agreement with the bailiff, and saying so at intervals, but also always making a further condition, definately appears to have helped, but that won’t have made the difference will it.

    Might the fact that the registrar acting as judge, is the same individual as the sheriff, might that alone have been enough to stop the Guardia?

    In any case, but especially for UK and Commonwealth – compare The Magna Carta 1215 – “absence of fines and forfeitures without conviction” ie a criminal matter, not any civil matter. I think it needs to be the 1215 version as that’s a declaration from the monarch that the English monarchy has never rescinded, so the subject of the monarch can still claim those rights, rather than the citizen ie the civil-ian entity subject to civil law wherein parliament has truncated the original Great Charter.

    So what stopped the police from acting? Claiming common law rights? Ben says this is what the Sheriff’s oath is about protecting.

    ===== This next bit is a record of a fruitless search for that oath, skip to the next “=====”
    Enforcement of Law (Occasional Powers) Act, 1923.

    (2) No oath of office or other oath shall be administered to or required to be taken by any person appointed after the passing of this Act to be Under-Sheriff but in lieu thereof every person so appointed shall before entering on his office subscribe and make a solemn declaration in a form to be prescribed by an order of the Minister that he will duly perform the duties of his office, and section 14 of the Statute 12 George I., c. 4 (Irish), shall be read as if the making by every Under-Sheriff of the Declaration so to be prescribed were substituted for the taking of the Oath prescribed by that section and for the making of the Declaration prescribed by the Sheriffs (Ireland) Adaptation of Enactments Order, 1922.

    As one can see, the official references are a plate of verbal spaghetti. You think its better in a republic than a monarchy? Look at that verbal diahorea above! And now I’ve spent half an hour looking for an Irish Sheriff’s oath of office. The amount of people mentioning it all over the net, bragging about the quazi-magical power of reminding a sheriff of it, you’d think one of them would have obliged by posting a link to what it actually is. And of course doesn’t know the Sheriffs Act 1643. Or any Sheriffs Act. Or the Forcible Entry Act 1634. Both of which says are still in force. Wikipedias and all sorts constantly listing relevant Acts but not actually giving their text. It really is amazing, if you search for the literal string “Sheriffs Act 1634″, you get only one single page of google results, and none of them seem to print the act rather than merely list it.
    Statute Law Revision Act 2007
    1293 (21 Edw. 1) c. 1 [P.R.O. vol. 1]
    Statutes retained
    1785 (25 Geo. 3) c. 36
    Sheriff’s and sub-sheriff’s oath
    Sheriffs Act 1785
    1634 (10 Chas. Oaths Sheriffs Act
    1 sess. 3) c. 18 1634

    1785 (25 Geo. Sheriff’s and sub- Sheriffs Act
    3) c. 36 sheriff’s oath 1785

    Finally! Finally! Is it? OMG, says its in force, says its been retained, where can I see the actual text!?, calls itself “Irish Legislation Database”, doesn’t seem to actually show any legislation, just thousands of crossreferences to legislation and who of note has quoted it and when. gives a long polemic but doesn’t specify the words of the sheriff’s oath., states:-
    “Where to find printed sources
    The printed journals and statutes can be consulted in major libraries. Some editions are available in online collections of early printed material, to which certain universities subscribe. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) ( contains the Journals of the house of lords [of Ireland] and several editions of the Statutes at large [of Ireland]. Another online collection, The Making of the Modern World (, contains an incomplete set of The journals of the house of commons, of the kingdom of Ireland (31 vols, Dublin, 1782–1794). For printed ‘separates’ see Text of legislation.”

    ECCO requires a subscription and The Making of the Modern World only has pay-for products. I don’t think citizens of a republic should have to pay to see the legislation they’re all supposed to be obeying. Even, otherwise extremely useful, only goes back to 1922 in Irish legislation.

    Well that’s it. Over an hour searching for this single obvious resource. Time-out. If anyone knows the text of an Irish Sheriff’s oath of office, good luck to you, perhaps you’ll let me know, either way its not going to say the words “common law”, there’s no chance of that, it will likely mention “law”, the Irish “Constitution”, and other words like “faithfully” and “rightly”, and, whatever it says, it won’t be giving any rights to people, it will merely affirm that the sheriff is to do as statutes and judges tell him.


    OK, well over an hour just searching for the Irish sheriff’s oath, surprisingly many dead ends (finding pre-1922 Irish legislation is a mess, the excuse being the fire in the public records office at that time), and at last I find it, as a graphical google book, so one can’t even cut-and-paste the text!

    Statutes Passed by the Parliament Held in Ireland Volume VII Page 497 and 498 (you’ll want that, because the search function in google books doesn’t work for this one). Its in the Sheriffs Act 1785, which
    Statute Law Revision Act 2007, 1293 (21 Edw. 1) c. 1 [P.R.O. vol. 1], SCHEDULE 1,Statutes retained, 1785 (25 Geo. 3) c. 36, Sheriff’s and sub-sheriff’s oath, Sheriffs Act 1785)
    and the irish parliament website (
    both say is still in force:-

    “I fheriff of the city of (as the cafe fhall be) do fwear, that I will faithfully and honestly, without favour or affection to any perfon whatsfoever, to the beft of my underftanding, and power, execute the dutionf of my faid office, and particularly that I will, without delay, truly execute all writs, procefs, and executions, and all orders and warrants that fhall be delivered to me, or lodged in my office, and make true and fpeedy returns to fuch of them as are by law returnable to the courts from whence they refpectively iffue; and that I will take, or caufe to be taken, all inquifitions fairly and openly, giving fuch notice as the law requires, and duly return fuch inquifitions; and that I will impannel and return all jurors, and tales jurors, without partiality or favour; and that I will do equal justice to the poor and rich; and that I will not take or receive any fee, reward, or gratuity whatsoever, for doing or not doing any part of the duty of my faid office, except what I am by law entitled to receive.”

    Interesting archaic use in most cases of “f” for “s”, when clearly they did have “s” in their typefont, but they only use it almost exclusively for the legal terms. Apart from that aside, what does that oath give the Irish people? Er? It pre-constitutional, and its still in force, and it talks a lot about quickly doing everything a court tells a sheriff to do. It does seem to prevent the sheriff from doing peace-work, its a flat wage for them there. But precious nothing about the rights of the people don’t you agree?

    And yet there are various forum witnesses saying they’ve simply sent a sheriff the oath of office and had them go away for a long time. But it seems they do eventually come back, and will only leave particular premises alone if other circumstances are present, eg at where they stopped action in person at the known address because they were told (by the mother) that the person they’re looking for doesn’t live there. Interesting result given what the Irish Law Reform Commission said about it.

    20:00 Ben says the Law Reform Commission had a look at the conflict between the old Sheriff’s right under the old laws and the Constitution which forbids his entry and that the Constitution won.

    [Report on Reform and Modernisation of Land Law and Conveyancing Law (LRC 74-2005)

    121. – The Act of 1963
    122 subs 4: …the abolition of the sheriff’s right to seize leasehold land contained in section 124 of this Bill

    Abolition of power to seize leasehold estate.
    124. – The power of the sheriff, or of other persons
    entitled to exercise the sheriff’s powers, to seize a
    leasehold estate under a writ of fieri facias or other
    process of execution is abolished.
    Section 124 implements the recommendations in the
    CP that the power of the sheriff to seize leasehold land
    should be abolished. An earlier report of the Law
    Reform Commission pointed out that this remedy was
    rarely invoked, surrounded by uncertainties and of
    very doubtful efficacy as a method of enforcing debts
    against land. It was suggested that judgment creditors
    should be left to use the more appropriate remedy of a
    judgment mortgage: see Report on Debt Collection:
    (1) the Law Relating to Sheriffs (LRC 27 – 1988)
    (paras 54 – 57). The CP also pointed out that its
    abolition would simplify conveyancing by removing
    the need to make searches in the Sheriff’s Office.

    The Family Home Protection Act 1976 does not contain the words “sheriff”, “force”, nor “repossession” – its just about one spouse applying to own the family home because the other spouse has deserted or is mentally incapacitated etc.

    Report on Land Law and Conveyancing Law: (7) Positive Convenants over Freehold Land and other Proposals (LRC 70-2003)
    Does not mention “sheriff”, “force entry”, nor “repossession”]

    But if you go to and search for “right of entry” you will be shocked to find vehemently the opposite view expressed for civil debts (warrants of execution), given that the warrant the sheriff’s assistant alleges Ben is up agains, a warrant for possession (of premises) represents a more serious claim than a warrant of execution (siezing non-affixed goods found at known addresses) – if a sheriff can.break in for the former they surely can for the latter.

    Section 84 of that 1988 report states . The Commission, accordingly, recommends that:
    (1) The powers conferred by section 12 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1926 should remain.

    To your current narrator, an observer of primarily the UK situation, the 2010 report of the Irish Law Reform Commission appears equally chilling, relevantly starting at item 5.200. In Ireland Sheriffs are clearly given the right to force entry (drill the locks) to people’s homes merely for civil debts. $*&£&^!! Shocking! That’s not the case in the UK, even though this Irish report repeatedly implies that it is by blurring the distinction between commercial and private debts. The de facto situation in the UK is that we have no sheriffs acting in debt collection, and that bailiffs cannot gain support from the police or courts for forcible first entry for private debts.

    5.204 The Commission also notes that the laws of other countries provide for a power of enforcement agents to enter a debtor‘s premises forcibly where necessary. Northern Irish legislation permits any enforcement officer to enter at a reasonable time, by force if necessary, any land occupied or used by the debtor, his or her spouse or partner, any of his or her dependents, or any other person who has been given notice, provided that the enforcement officer produces his or her credentials on so doing.169

    And the hegemony doesn’t stop there.

    5.209 Therefore where an enforcement officer has been refused access to a premises for the purposes of executing a goods seizure order, or has reasonable cause to think that such access will be refused, the enforcement officer should be empowered to apply to court for a warrant authorising forcible entry to a premises. The court should grant such a warrant where it is satisfied that forcible entry to the premises is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the judgment debt in question. This would involve a consideration both of whether access to enter has been refused, and where the enforcement officer can show that should access is likely to be refused, and where an attempt to enter the premises without force may prejudice the ability to enforce the judgment.

    5.210 The Commission recommends that enforcement agents should retain a right of forcible entry to debtors‟ premises. The Commission recommends however that such a right should only be exercisable under a warrant of the court, with such warrant issued by the court only where it is satisfied that forcible entry is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the judgment debt in question.

    20:50 Ben says Ireland is a common law jurisdiction, that common law dates from before christ, and that it always takes precedence and wins every time in a common law jurisdiction. The term “common law” is one of those most simple and complicated terms, like “natural” or “moral” or when you come right down to it any quality ascribed by conscious entities. Most officially “common law” simply means the past decisions of the judiciary both civil and criminal. The way freedom orientated commoners use it includes a sense of constitutional, fundamental rights that they secured, and not any judiciary or overbearing authority.

    So, er, um…. whut?

  2. Alex, you must be an over payed barrister or solicitor, will you spare us the €400 an hour lecture please? You should be ashamed to even put the Constitution into question. The Law it refers to, is the law of God, a Man’s home is inviolable save in accordance with the Law, the Law of God not the law that you practice, the same Law that allows Sean Fitz, Bertie, and Biffo to get away scot free while 80 year olds are dumped on the street, you should be ashamed to question Ben’s actions of good faith.

    • Thank you for the response Jeff.

      1 No, I’m not in any law profession. I am able to think about things like law precisely, and realise its my duty to do so.

      I’ve seen too many good people trying to follow other people’s success and getting hurt, and its not always because they didn’t apply the principles and methods properly, its also because those few methods that do succeed often don’t do it for the reasons the initial protagonist thought.

      2 Jeff, what “law of God” are you talking about? The Constitution doesn’t mention any God’s laws. Article 6 basically says “God” (whichever one that is, of course judiciaries have multi-religious oaths now) stands over the entire Constitution (allowing that He could intervene if He chose to) but that “the people” have all the power to make whatever law they think is in the best common interest.

      By “the people” of course Constitutions invariably mean government and the shadowy puppetmasters that for the most part control it. That’s why its refreshing to hear Ben promote the idea of detailed direct referendums on all government decisions.

      Could one quote any law from the Bible, OT or NT, that would be of any use in a court of law (other than the obvious ‘its wrong to murder or steal’ which they already have)?

      3 I was questioning Ben’s interpretation of the Constitution and of the Sheriff’s oath of office, not Ben’s work nor achievements in this field, which anyone can see are rare and powerful, making it all the more imporant for others to be sure of why his methods work.

      4 There don’t appear to be any Irish Law Reform Commission reports on forcible entry specifically in repossession cases – perhaps someone can offer a further lead on that.

      The Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1926 S25 mentions what might happen if you re-enter premisses after they’ve been repossessed but it calls it “after execution”, which seems to blurr the distinction found in UK and Commonwealth legislation between orders / warrants for possession (i.e. of premises) and of execution (i.e. goods).

      5 The LRC’s report on debt collection does say that if the (alleged) debtor denies ownership of goods then the sheriff should not sieze them. That would seem to be one possibility of avoiding forfeit of goods in Ireland ( Section 40), but it doesn’t address the question of forced entry to a man’s home. Jeff, where does it say they can’t? It should be in the Irish Constitution, but there’s only Article 40.5 – see point 6 para 2 below.

      In UK an assurance of absence of fines and forfeitures without conviction (i.e. criminal court) is in the Declaration of Rights 1688 (or Bill of Rights 1689). That is in the UK what guarantees the sanctity of a man’s home that Ben speaks about. A bill of rights (of the people) is always the first part of every constitution, its the sugar to make the second part go down, the part where the powers of government are listed.

      6 (LRC 27–1988) REPORT ON DEBT COLLECTION: (1) THE LAW RELATING TO SHERIFFS, IRELAND, The Law Reform Commission, Section 80 says that Section 12 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1926 allows that “The sheriff may enter a debtor’s premises for the purpose of seizing his goods in execution and may do so forcibly. He must, however, first make reasonable efforts to enter “peaceably and without violence”. ”

      Section 81 specifically deals with the clash between this power to enter with force and the very Article 40.5 of the Constitution that’s quoted on all the pages here, and it concludes: “The powers of the sheriff only arise in the first place as the result of a judicial determination and the making of the appropriate order which leads to the issuing of the execution order. It is difficult to see why a forcible entry made in such circumstances should be treated as not having been made “in accordance with law”.”

      It would be great if someone would redress and better explain what it seems to say there – that in Ireland the sheriff busting into your home is lawful. Because surely, short of a crime or criminal being on the premises, its not, it can’t be! Surely that is against common law and surely that always trumps civil law when it comes to a man’s home and property, if he stands upon it?!

      Which all just makes what Ben is achieving all the more amazing and intriguing!

  3. Alex, in a Catholic country the ”Law” be it common or civil, is always in accordance with the Law of God, ie ”You shall no trespass” and ”You shall not seek what is not yours” otherwise you would not be deemed a Catholic Nation.

  4. Moreover, the ”Law” allows the owner of a dwelling to fight an intruder, so perhaps there is a contradiction in your ”Law” because the owner of the dwelling is in fact the debtor as stated in the deeds (Not the bank), and the sheriff is in fact an intruder so how do you solve this paradox?

    I agree with the ”law” forcing an entry in cases of blood crime, any other dispute must be solved by other means, its morally correct and the ”Law” should always be morally correct do you not agree?

    • ”You shall not seek what is not yours”
      If you are attempting to quote the Bible, I put you upon Holy Notice you naughty cheeky little tickly chucklehead you tike you, that indictement barely preceeds the injuction to go out and take all that certain other tribes have in their cognisance, and to slaughter all liiving thing of them, except the female virgins.

  5. As someone who is awaiting for the Sheriff and people like you to come and try to repossess, i tell yous, i will defend my home with my life, no one on this earth will take it from me intact, the bank sold the mortgage in the security markets, none of my business, it’s my home, if they had gone bust as they should they wouldn’t be here to claim it back, so tough

  6. Where, in your dubious, code of conduct or ”Law”, is said that the owner must not trash his own home if he so wishes, and then after, as a debt free man, take a ferry to the UK where his home, as you said will, be better protected?

    That’s common practice in Florida btw, the owners get thrown out alright, but the place is left without a single copper pipe inside, this practice is said to really annoy the bank, because they are left with a worthless empty shell, who knows, others like me will adopt this legal practice here :P

  7. This far I can follow:

    As someone who is awaiting for the Sheriff and people like you to come and try to repossess, i tell yous, i will defend my home with my life, no one on this earth will take it from me intact, the bank sold the mortgage in the security markets, none of my business, it’s my home, if they had gone bust as they should they wouldn’t be here to claim it back, so tough

    Thank you again and bless you for bothering to respond Jeff.

    It does seem to me a shame you chose to believe you can define my views for me, and that you fail to address any of the words of the rulers of Ireland quoted above, and that you are the main yay only gatekeeper responding here at this time.

    God bless you and all those who are arrogant enough to sail with you.

    As for me and mine, we humbly and earnestly await a cogent answer to the sincere points we have raised in pursuit of the common good.

    Oh, and also, I almost forgot while deflecting your childish ad hominems, you are very right – no equitable debt should force entry to a man’s home. In UK jurisdiction the Declaration / Bill of Rights gives protection from forfeitures short of criminal convicion, there isn’t anywhere in Irish public law that anyone has identified that does the same thing, but for now the assertion seem to hold.

    Top Tip of the Day:
    Stop getting your gun off on me and get your face into those words of the ueberfucktards that rule your geography and find for us where exactly those masters guarantee the compost we’re talking about.


    1 Why would banks care if they sell a shell at a loss –

    All Credit Is Brand New Money,

    so its “all good” to them?

    2 How would anyone running from the jurisdiction where they had pledged their physical assets against a debt to an entirely foreign jurisdiction protect them against their pledge in the former jurisdiction?

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