Ben Gilroy bailed pending challenge to three month sentence
Anti-eviction activist has spent 19 days in prison for failing to do community service
Anti-eviction activist Ben Gilroy has been granted bail pending his High Court challenge over his three month detention in Mountjoy Prison for contempt of court orders. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.
Mr Justice Max Barrett adjourned to Tuesday the continued hearing of Mr Gilroy’s application under Article 40 of the Constitution contending his detention is unlawful. The judge also granted Mr Gilroy bail for the duration of the hearing on his own €100 bond.
Mr Gilroy was jailed 19 days ago by another High Court judge, Mr Justice Brian McGovern, for three months over failure to comply with a court order to complete 80 hours community service after he had admitted criminal contempt.
Mr Justice McGovern found there was a “deliberate and conscious” breach by Mr Gilroy of the October 2017 community service order, arising from Mr Gilroy’s admission earlier that year of criminal contempt.
The contempt related to Mr Gilroy having, in a sworn statement in proceedings by Allied Irish Banks plc seeking to enforce a €3.2 million judgment against another man, accused the court of “criminal intimidation and threats”.
He also compared the action of a court to that of “a thief putting a gun to his head and robbing him of his wallet”.
Mr Gilroy of Riverview, Athlumney Abbey, Navan, Co Meath was ordered to be detained at Mountjoy after the court heard he had not performed any community service.
On Monday, Mr Gilroy, along with businessman Jerry Beades, claimed in proceedings against the Governor of Mountjoy Prison that on the face of it there was no committal warrant to prison for Mr Gilroy and he should be released immediately.
Counsel for the governor, Tony McGillicuddy BL, submitted that the committal order which commanded the gardaí to arrest Mr Gilroy and bring him to prison was clear in its terms and language.
The case continues.