Hall v Ireland (even though Ireland is on his side)

The essence of democracy is under question in the case taken by David Hall against the minster for finance which starts in the high court Tuesday January. 22nd. Hall is challenging the legality of the wretched Anglo promissory note . He is saying as I understand it that the constitution requires that all expenditure be approved by the Dail. That is where the power is. People elect TD' s who then in a democratic way vote on various matters including expenditure. The dail gives the government the money to spend . In 2010 the finance bill allowed the minister for finance to provide funds to the banks. Hall maintains that the dail can not give its constitutional powers to anyone else. Although not a lawyer my understanding is that one cannot alienate ones rights, not you, nor I nor the Dail.

The minister for finance on the strength of the 2010 bill created the now infamous promissory note. Halls constitutional challenge questions weather the promissory note was created legally as it was never approved by the Dail. It's hardly a small sum so it does seem odd that this was never subjected to a Dail vote.

A lot is riding on this case which will ultimately end up in the Supreme Court. If Hall succeeds then the Government will be faced with a very difficult situation of having to vote in the Dail and this might cause some issues for TD'S. this might be a chance to really negotiate with our European “friends. The government has put in place a high powered legal team to defend that which it is saying in Europe is indefensible. Expect these lawyers to do a super job, and expect the government to then face these arguments it is relaying to be used in evidence against it (and us) in Europe. This case won't be just about the constitutional niceties, but will inevitably raise issues of economics and bank solvency.

A smart government would not fight this case with rigour, but would let it lose, and then note that there was no way it could get something through the parliament. In reality they migh be hoping that the case, won or lost in the High Court, would result in a delaying of the need to pay the €3.1b in end march. That would put it up to the ECB. But Michael Noonan is not a man to eschew legal advice as the family of Bridget MCCole. Expect this one to run and run…..



4 thoughts on “Hall v Ireland (even though Ireland is on his side)

  1. Terence MacSwiney Field

    This situation must surely call into question the sanity of Enda Kenny. Since the inception of this promissory note, he has vociferously berated Fianna Fáil and called it “a crazy deal”. How can he now even consider putting up a strong defense? If the government loses the case, they will be obliged to put the ‘promissory note’ before the Dáil to ratify it. Essentially, that means FG and FF will have to support it, with SF and the Independents opposing it …….an that really leave us up the creek, without a canoe or paddle.

  2. Pingback: Court challenge to promissory notes - Page 3

  3. Colum (@mrccusack)

    “One legal source said that if the Government does lose, it might have to “introduce a bill into the chamber legitimising the payments to the ECB”

    The Government and all opposition TD’s would be wise to take note of Bunreacht na hÉireann, Article 16.2.1 that “Dáil Éireann shall be composed of members who represent constituencies determined by law”.

    The citizens of this great country do not want to pay the gambling debts of these failed banks. Any TD who would vote to legitimise these payments would not be acting in the interest of their constituents or citizens of this country.

    We remain a people who are ruled OVER by a cabal of political parties who represent narrow vested interests and effectively exclude the citizens from the democratic process.

    The constitution makes no reference to representation of any party or even of individuals to represent themselves – the rule is to “represent constituencies”. That implies that TD’s should be seeking mandate for how they vote in the Dáil etc. But how many TD’s do this?

    The first and ONLY immediate reform we need is the Empowerment of the Citizens, from that everything else will arise as determined by the democratic decision making of the people.

    At the very least, pending a successfull Hall challenge…. we should all let our TD’s know that they must vote against this. It’s not our debt and we shoudl all stand up and say NO NO NO!


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