Judge refers ‘inconsistencies’ in Ben Gilroy’s income to Revenue

Direct Democracy Ireland founder had been found in contempt of court in July

Ben Gilroy: judge had been considering imposing community service in lieu of three months in prison. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ben Gilroy: judge had been considering imposing community service in lieu of three months in prison. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A High Court judge has referred what he described as “inconsistencies” concerning the income of the Direct Democracy Ireland party founder Ben Gilroy to the Revenue Commissioners’ investigations unit.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern had last July found Mr Gilroy in contempt of court and indicated he was considering imposing a community service order in lieu of three months in prison. This was in proceedings where a bank was seeking to enforce a €3.2 million judgment against another man.

When the matter returned before the court on Friday, the judge said a report from the Probation Service deemed Mr Gilroy was a suitable candidate for 80 hours of community service.

An “inconsistency” had arisen that concerned the court, he said. When the matter was before him in July, Mr Gilroy had said he was not employed or in receipt of income, which resulted in the court granting him legal aid for the contempt proceedings.

The probation report stated Mr Gilroy was in full-time employment, he said.

As the court had “neither the time nor the resources” to look into this matter, he was referring the case to Revenue’s investigation unit. The Director of Public Prosecutions could liaise with Revenue in regard to the investigation and take steps if there was any evidence of a false declaration, he added.

‘Flip-flopping’

There had been another example of Mr Gilroy “flip-flopping” during the proceedings, he also said. Mr Gilroy had said he did not have a passport and had also said he wanted to go on holidays to Spain. Mr Gilroy could not travel to Spain without a passport, he said.

Giollaiosa Ó Lideadha SC, for Mr Gilroy, said his instructions are his client “does not have any income”.

The contempt proceedings related to Mr Gilroy having accused the court of “criminal intimidation and threats” and comparing the action of a court to that of a thief putting a gun to his head and robbing him of his wallet. He said this in a sworn statement in proceedings by Allied Irish Banks seeking to enforce a €3.2 million judgment against another man.

Mr Gilroy, Riverview, Athlumney Abbey, Navan, Co Meath, alleged he was threatened by members of a “semi-secretive society” wearing wigs and black cloaks who believe they are “superior to other members of society” and who act in a clandestine fashion “to hide their criminality”.

Last July, the judge said Mr Gilroy had accused the judge of being “in breach of his oath of office” and of taking part in, and allowing criminal activity to take place in front of him.

The affidavit also contained further threats against the judge and the solicitor and counsel for AIB, plaintiff in the proceedings, he said.

Attack on the court

Mr Justice McGovern said Mr Gilroy’s affidavit was “nothing short of a direct attack on the court and the administration of justice” and was calculated to bring the administration of justice into disrepute and diminish the authority of the court.

It was an aggravating factor Mr Gilroy had set his views out in an affidavit and not “in the heat of the moment”.

However, Mr Gilroy admitted criminal contempt and had apologised and consented to a community service order, he noted.

Mr Gilroy provided the affidavit in AIB’s proceedings seeking to enforce a €3.25 million judgment obtained against Seamus McQuaid, of Crumlin, Silverstream, Co Monaghan. During those proceedings, the bank alleged civil contempt and applied for attachment and committal to prison of Mr McQuaid, Mr Gilroy, and a third man, Charles McGuinness, of Tully House, Monaghan.

The proceedings will return before the court later this month.