Vin from TNS Radio interviews Ben Gilroy about the viral video Constitution Halts Sheriff. Over the course of the interview Ben gives some background about the events leading up to the infamous showdown with the Sheriff of Laois (or so he claimed, in actuality it was a deputy Sheriff).
When Ben mentions the first in a long list of incidents in which a judge made a comment that seemed to fly in the face of the law, Vin of course in his usual fashion dispenses a number of interesting insights on the topics raised. He points out one of the major differences between a Democracy and a Republic. In a Democracy, 51% of the electorate are required to pass a law. In a Republic, 67% of the electorate are required to pass a law.
Gardai Assisting The Sheriff?
They also go on to discuss the Garda Oath that all new Gardai must make. This Oath of course is to uphold Common Law, not to assist in the forced removal of people from their homes. The Gardai in the video mention “We are only here to assist the Sheriff”. The Office of the Sheriff is a purely private position. The transaction that takes place between a debtor and their local sheriff is a Civil function, and therefore the Gardai cannot under their own oath, intervene.
Despite the Sheriff informing the man who owned the home in question, that he was going to come at an unspecified time to repossess the house, because of the support he has received he will not be handing back the keys. He will continue to fight against the bank who refuse to renegotiate his loan, who securitized his loan, and who attained a judgement against him in a court that doesn’t even have the jurisdiction to hand down a judgement on a value as large as that of his house!
This is one of the earliest interviews with Ben Gilroy before Constitution Halts Sheriff went viral on the internet. In this interview, which occurred on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Ben discusses the lack of action by the current government in dealing with the astronomical number of home owners who are currently in negative equity. These people see absolutely no tangible route out of this problem.
Ben covers the possibility of abandoning his current house and renting somewhere affordable. He also covers the suggestion of renting his own house out, or simple passing the keys over to the bank and allowing them to sell it. As Ben states in the video, this is simply kicking the can down the road. What are people in Ben Gilroy’s circumstances to do when they reach retirement age, and are no longer able to afford to rent a property?
This video is significant to People For Economic Justice as it gives a little insight into what caused Ben Gilroy to start questioning the legal system. His housing situation made him realise that there must be a better way to run a country and a banking system so that this sort of thing can’t happen. Constraints can surely also be put in place, so that this can be done without racking up massive amounts of odious debt. During his studies Ben came across information which he uses to halt Sheriffs and Receivers across the country keeping people in their homes.
In the coming months we will be showing more and more videos of Ben Gilroy and People For Economic Justice using nothing more than their rights as Irish Citizens, under the Irish Constitution. They will keep people in their homes, despite massive strain from banks and sheriff’s to get them out. They will keep legitimate small business owners on their premises, where they can continue their life’s work, and renegotiate their repayments with the banks. This is surely preferable to being forced out onto the street, watching their businesses be stripped down and sold to the highest bidder. The irony of this solution being, that the banks seem to prefer that it very rarely actually covers the debt.