We the citizens of the Republic of Ireland call on the President Michael D Higgins

We the citizens of the Republic of Ireland call on the President Michael D Higgins

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Citizens of Ireland started this petition to Michael D Higgans

We the citizens of the Republic of Ireland call on the President Michael D Higgins to use all the constitutional powers available to him to ensure that the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020 is not rushed into Law, and that proper and due consideration and consultation be afforded to the judiciary and legal professionals, relevant experts and all of the TDs elected to the current Dail by the people of Ireland as would be befitting any proposed change to the laws of Ireland in place since the foundation of the State, in particular as this potentially affects huge numbers of Irish citizens who stand to potentially lose their homes and their livelihoods.
On 30th July 2020 , the coalition Government of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens, that we didn’t vote for, banded together in the Dail to not only attempt to overrule Three Respected Judges in the Second Highest Court of this country, but also to ensure that Vulture Funds who continue to reap havoc to the lives and livelihoods of the people of Ireland were able to sidestep a very important and a very significant Appeal Court determination that occurred just 4 months ago on 2nd April 2020.
It should be noted, that the bill passed [ Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020 ] was dressed up and in certain parts was in fact emergency legislation to deal with certain legal issues created by the ongoing Covid 19 situation, however included Chapter 3, which was neither urgent nor related to Covid 19. Instead it is a blatant and shocking underhand political manouevre by the Government to pander to and do the bidding of lobbyists on behalf of Vulture Funds who had been dealt a crushing blow by the Appeal Court.
In brief, a vulture fund called Promontoria Aran had taken a Mr and Mrs Burns to the High Court looking for a judgemnt for money against them. The High court judge ruled initially that the evidence presented by the vulture fund to prove their claim was in the main ‘ inadmissible hearsay’, the vulture fund are not a bank, and did not present to the court any credible or reliable evidence that they were entitled to any judgement against Mr and Mrs Burns. In fact what the vulture fund presented was Hearsay, not proof of any debts, but more like a third hand story that they had no means of knowledge to give. Promontoria Aran didn’t like that, so they appealed to the Appeal Court. It should be noted, that you get two shots legally, if you lose the first time you can appeal, if you lose the appeal, then you have no legal entitlement to further approach the courts. The respected judge in the appeal court delivered an unanimous verdict on 2nd April 2020 , upholding the ruling of the High court judge against the vulture fund, and went further to explore in great depth the history of evidence and indeed hearsay evidence before the courts.
At that point, Promontoria Aran ( and by association all vulture funds plying their nasty trade in Ireland) had no legal means to carry on harassing people in any court in Ireland, and this was a game changing moment for all of the people who have suffered austerity in bailing out Irish Banks who allegedly sold off their loans to vulture funds , and were up to that point finding it difficult to defend themselves in court. The legal avenues to Promontoria Aran were closed, but that didn’t stop their lobbyists approaching the new coalition government, and looking for what amounts to extraordinary and quite unbelievable assistance. Just less than 4 months later, firstly this bill was introduced to the Seanad, and passed within 6 days, without any consultation or discussion with relevant professionals or indeed at any committees created to examine such bills before ever going to vote. Instead the coalition used its majority in the Seanad, to simply vote this in, dressed up as a Covid 19 emergency bill, without due process. It took just 6 days from introduction to pass the Seanad.
Next is even more shocking and unbelievable. The Bill was introduced to the Dail on 28th July, just two days before the Dail breaks for 6 weeks summer holidays. The coalition used its majority to dispense again with the normal procedures of discussion, consultation and proper debate. Instead, this bill got very limited debate time on the 30th July ( the last sitting of the Dail before summer holidays) , and almost every speaker who was given a chance to challenge the bill very briefly said the same thing, and this even included experienced individuals from Government parties who expressed their concerns, and indeed recommended that a certain section of the Bill be taken out , as it was neither urgent nor Covid 19 related, and indeed without the proper procedures, should not have in the first instance been included in this Bill, and also that it was a very clear piece of legislation to assist the vulture funds who had been dealt such a serious blow by the Appeal court.
This disputed section of the Bill is Chapter 13, and in particular parts 13 and 14. In effect, this chapter 3 changed the laws of the land that have been in place since the foundation of the state , and put very simply changed the laws to override the decision of the Appeal Court in favour of vulture funds, and give the vultures not only a route back to court, but a much easier route to get judgements the Appeal Court told them they were not entitled to. Without consultation or proper discussion , the Government majority voted by 86 to 66 change the laws of Ireland in favour of vulture funds.
To put this in context, most vulture funds are ‘ Section 110’ companies, using a piece of legislation first passed in Ireland in 1997 that allows funds like these to operate here , putting very many millions through their accounts and paying little or no tax. Vulture funds also have no employees in the main, so they contribute nothing to the Irish economy, they are simply parasitic money grabbing entities feeding off the misfortune of Irish people for financial gain, while ruining families, homes and businesses . Yet it took successive Governments here from 1997 until May 2019 ( almost 22 years) to enact some small changes to the law to put at least some reigns on the vulture fund activities , albeit that most of the damage had been done at that point. Yet when the vulture funds have lost their power after the appeal court judgement, it takes less than 4 months, and without debate of consultation for the current Government to change the laws to once again give the same vultures all the control all over again. This is a disgrace, and cannot be allowed to happen without the people of Ireland making their voices and their views heard. There are potentially some constitutional options available to President Higgins to ensure that at the
minimum he does not sign this Bill in its entirety as it currently is ( including the Chapter 3 that the vulture funds lobbied for) , and we must use all means possible, including getting many ,many thousand of signatures on this petition to ensure he understand the depth of feeling about this piece of political sleight of hand which is a clear move against the people of Ireland in favour of vulture funds who trade in peoples misery and misfortune simply to make money for wealthy foreign corporate investors.
We must act. If you do nothing, you accept this travesty, at least to start with, read this, share it with everyone you know, and ask them to also sign it and share it. We the people of Ireland cannot be silent any more, nor can we allow the political elite to choose the benefit of vulture funds over the
welfare of the very Irish people they claim to represent. Time is of the essence, do it now, and share it now, lets get to many thousands of signatures within the next 36 hours.
Thank you

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