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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Mother-of-two 'refusing food' after being jailed for contempt of court

Independent TD Mattie McGrath raised her case in the Dáil, telling the Minister for Justice that she had refused to surrender her house to receivers.


A WOMAN IS ‘refusing food’ in prison after being jailed last week for contempt of court in a case involving the repossession of her house, the Dail heard yesterday.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath raised the woman’s case yesterday in the Dáil, telling the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan that she had failed to surrender her house and was jailed for contempt on Friday.

“This is day six and she is refusing food,” he said, adding that the vulture fund involved in the case, the receiver and the woman had been in discussions to resolve the issue when she was held in contempt.

“Last Friday evening late, the High Court ordered detention of the woman at the women’s detention centre at Mountjoy jail,” McGrath said.

European law does not allow the judges to jail citizens in this way. The Supreme Court actually in April heard an appeal this year on this very issue where the Human Rights Organisation [IRHO] also joined in to highlight this unlawful behaviour of the State in the manner how people are jailed at the request of banks and vulture funds and the Irish State.
That decision is awaited from the Supreme Court so what is going on? In the meantime this person is still in jail and she has two young teenage daughters being minded by family.

In his response, Minister Flanagan said it would not be appropriate to comment on an individual case without all of the details.

“I know on the last occasion Deputy McGrath made a similar allegation it turned out to be factually incorrect so I don’t think it’s either fair or reasonable to ask the minister to comment on an individual case before the courts,” he said.

Commenting on the case today, David Hall, CEO of Irish Mortgage Holders,  told that the system “has never taken into account the various challengers those in mortgage debt experience”.

“Family breakdown, loss of job, health issues. Before a court sends anyone to prison for debt they should appoint someone to ensure the debtor is properly advised and supported,” he said.

“Amazing how ordinary citizens find themselves in prison as a result of being in debt but no banker does.”

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