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Anti-eviction campaigner, Ben Gilroy, with Yellow Vest Ireland outside the GPO, 2018. PA Archive/PA Images
Start Mortgages

Ben Gilroy prevented by High Court from arresting agents and employees of mortgage company

Start Mortgages also secured an order restraining Gilroy from posting online any information relating to any of Start’s current or former employees.

START MORTGAGES HAS secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing anti-eviction activist Ben Gilroy from arresting any of its employees or agents.

This afternoon Start Mortgages DAC secured orders preventing Gilroy, who contested this year’s European Parliament Elections, from arresting, restraining or assaulting any of Start’s current or former officers, agents, lawyers or employees.

Start also secured an order restraining the defendant from publishing or posting online any information relating to the home addresses or property of any of Start’s current or former employees, officers, and lawyers. 

The injunctions apply to any other person who has knowledge of the orders, as well as Gilroy.

Start sought the injunctions against Gilroy arising out of videos posted on social media in recent days where he alleges that Start is involved in a fraud, and calls for people acting for or working with the fund to be arrested.

At the High Court today counsel for Start Garrett Flynn Bl, which rejects all the fraud allegations made against it by the defendant, said Gilroy states in the video that he intends to “get a posse together,” and “start arresting these people in a systemic way,” over the coming weeks. 

Counsel said his client was concerned as the names of current and former employees of the company have been posted on social media.

Gilroy, it is claimed was inciting people to form a mob, and perform citizens arrests of Start’s employees and legal representatives. This, it is claimed, is an attempt by Gilroy to intimidate and harass Start’s representatives. 

The court heard that Gilroy is contesting an application by Start for repossession orders in respect of his family home.

Those proceedings, which relates to an alleged default on repayments on a loan for €310,000 which Start claims it advanced to Gilroy and his wife in 2006, stands adjourned before Trim Circuit Court.

Start claims it is owed €512,000 by Gilroy and his wife, and that the last repayment made by them in February 2011.

Start also claims that Gilroy attended at its offices last May, and seized the original mortgage and title documents it held on his home.

The taking of those documents resulted in Start bringing High Court proceedings against Gilroy seeking the return of the material. 

Start also claims that Gilroy is purporting to give legal advice on the videos, which he is not entitled to do.

The injunction was granted on an ex-parte basis by Justice Leonie Reynolds, who made the matter returnable to Friday’s sitting of the court.

The Judge said she was satisfied to make the orders sought.

The Judge noted from documents put before the Court that Gilroy has acknowledged that the Director of Public Prosecutions has stated that there is no case in fraud against Start in respect of the matters he complains about.

Aodhan O Faolain