July 26th 2016 Elderly 84 Year old Michael Gavin
Complaind to Law Society of Ireland re Peter D Penalty Points Jones
On 01/04/2016 peter d penalty points jones State Solicitor sent me Michael Gavin an Elderly 84 Year Old retired farmer and former CIE employee a threatening letter on behalf of his client robert b. marren Mullingar.
I am outraged at the reluctance of peter d. jones to respond to my letter send back to him on 12th of April 2016 in which I requested 7 pieces of evidence and answers to 20 questions concerning his client robert b. marren.
Copy of both letters enclosed
I demand that this matter be investigated and a response to my correspondence.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: call Deputy Clare Daly, who has five minutes.
Deputy Clare Daly: I am just in the nick of time. After years of delay and fierce resistance from the bodies this legislation is supposed to regulate, and a rewriting of that legislation largely by the bodies, we have finally got to the point of appointing members to the board of the new legal services regulatory authority. Some change is desperately needed and I welcome that fact. To be honest, the role played by the Law Society over the past period has demonstrated it to be an organisation that is absolutely not fit for purpose. It is as bad, if not worse, as all the other organisations that have been set up to regulate and investigate themselves.
Even with the best people in the world, that type of system would not work but we know there is a litany of disaster when we consider the Law Society’s history. The idea that the Law Society would operate as both a representative and a regulatory body for solicitors is dysfunctional and unacceptable. The new Act from which the body is being set up removes some of the regulatory functions from the Law Society but I argue it is certainly not enough. I am not happy with the amount of power that the Law Society is keeping because of its historic activity. I will deal with one or two cases, and I assure the Leas-Cheann Comhairle that where I mention names, they are in the public domain and have been the subject of court cases. They are beyond dispute.
People like Mr. Fergus Appelbe are well known. He is a former solicitor, currently practising under supervision, and he was the subject of two “Today Tonight” investigations in the late 1980s because of his conduct. He was ultimately convicted of fraud. The hole left in accounts by this individual and his various companies amount to somewhere between €100 million and €200 million, and that hole will probably have to be filled by the Irish taxpayer, as the Minister of State knows. He is not allowed to be a company director in the North but he has been allowed to continue to practice under supervision here. The Law Society failed utterly to investigate the large and countless claims against him. It protected him and appointed him to its conveyancing committee.
An individual who complained about this gentleman was Mr. Colm Murphy. Probably as a result of those complaints – in retaliation, in effect – a process was embarked upon, supported by the Law Society, which saw Mr. Murphy struck off, allegedly for breaching an undertaking he had given in the High Court. A solicitor for the Law Society, Ms Linda Kirwan, swore in an affidavit that she had witnessed him giving this undertaking. After Mr. Murphy was struck off, she acknowledged that she had not even been in court on the day in which the alleged undertaking was given. Not only that but there is no record of any such undertaking anyway. Nevertheless, Ms Kirwan is now head of complaints and client relations at the Law Society and was recently elected by the society to represent complaint handler members on the executive committee, despite her admitting to filing a false affidavit. That is incredibly worrying.
We also know the documentation relied upon to strike off Mr. Murphy was a forged document presented by an individual called Mr. Frank Fallon, who subsequently received a seven-year jail term for fraud and forgery. It was alleged and ultimately proven that the document presented in the Murphy case was a forgery and there is evidence to suggest the Law Society was well aware of this but pursued this individual anyway.
The point is in this case and others, the Law Society’s barristers and external solicitors have deliberately misled the courts. I am not saying it lightly as these are facts. It was done to prevent this individual, Mr. Murphy, from getting a full hearing and redress in his case. Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns in the case spoke about repeated “skullduggery” on the part of the Law Society. The problem I have is that the Law Society has been unaccountable and a law unto itself. It decided to go after this individual but it did not decide to go after many others whose actions will cost the taxpayer dear. The unchecked role of the Law Society is something that should have been challenged before now. I am not happy to say this goes far enough and I am not happy with the role of the nominees being put forward in the process. I am glad the new authority is finally being set up, although it is not as robust or independent as I would like.
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