People for Economic Justice founder Ben Gilroy has “no connection” with Freemen on the Land movement in Ireland

Assistance given to people in financial difficulty aims to “drag out” cases

People for Economic Justice founder and Direct Democracy Ireland candidate Ben Gilroy has denied he has any connection to the Freemen on the Land movement in Ireland.

He said an article in the Law Society Gazette , which identified him as using approaches in court which are commonly used by the freemen movement, was incorrect.

Mr Gilroy told The Irish Times he does help people in financial difficulty who are going to court, but does not use freemen arguments.

The 50-year-old founded People for Economic Justice at the end of 2011 to “support and educate ordinary people on their right to lawfully challenge the banking institutions”. He ran for Direct Democracy Ireland in the Meath East byelection and received 7 per cent of the vote.


Originally from Dublin, the former bodyguard, who runs an electrical business from his home in Navan, has also featured in online videos showing how he kept sheriffs and receivers from repossessing property. Among those he assisted and filmed was Cavan businessman Gerry Burns, who had a receiver appointed to his firm at College Street, Co Cavan.

Mr Burns had refused to co-operate with court orders compelling him to hand over keys and give security codes of his property to a bank-appointed receiver. Last month, an order for the arrest and committal to prison of Mr Burns was set aside by Mr Justice George Birmingham after Mr Burns apologised, said he would co-operate with the receiver and would no longer associate with the parties that had advised him.

The People for Economic Justice website also includes a photograph of a sample notice to be placed outside the door of a property to prevent access by bailiffs, court officials, debt collectors and receivers. The notice is signed “under the great seal of the Giolla Rua” by “Ben of the ancient clan Giolla Rua authorised agent for Ben Gilroy™”.

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland is a crime writer and former Irish Times journalist