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Update On Boycott Of Legal Firms In Louth

Some of our members and supporters may recall that last December the Louth branch sent a letter to the County Louth and Meath Registrar, Mairead Ahern, asking if she thought it a conflict of interest that her husband's legal firm prosecuted the majority of applications by banks for posession of family homes whilst she sat in the "judges" seat as Registrar. Needless to say the response we got to that and other queries was a short sentence to the effect that it is not for her to discuss such matters.

Some readers might also remember that having received the Registrar's reply, the Louth branch hand delivered boycott notices to all Solicitors in Dundalk requesting that they desist from prosecuting posessions of family home cases or face the consequences of a boycott action. The Registrar's husband's firm also received such a notice, hand delivered while the Registrar was in her husband's legal firm's office.


Mairead and dermot ahern

(Mairead Ahern (Louth registrar - centre) with brother in law ex-Minster for Justice Dermot Ahern.

It would appear from last Monday's sitting of the Registrar's court that our actions have had an impact, if not a mild one, in that there appears to have been half-hearted efforts to conceal from the public the potential conflict of interests that exists when the Registrar's husband's firm is asking her to evict families.

Imagine if you will the Registrar eating breakfast in the morning, at least partially paid for through her husband's work for the banks, in a kitchen paid for the same way, driving to the courts in a car paid for the same way, to deliberate in the applications of her husband's firm. Could things have appeared any more unjust?

In last Monday's Registrar's court in Dundalk there were notable cosmetic changes. The young solicitor that usually represented the banks for Ahern & McDonald was present but instead of arguing for the bank he was assisting the "McDonald" wing of the firm. The McDonald wing was another young solicitor who used to only have a few case but this month had all of his bosses partner's cases. I hope this isn't too confusing, that's what they seem to want.

Another notable change was that the "Ahern" was taken off the court listings of  legal firms prosecuting for the banks, and so instead of "Ahern and McDonald", it only showed "McDonald". The plot thickens my dear Watson.

A number of Louth branch members were curious to find out what was going on and sure enough they noted the young solicitor who last month was beggered of cases and this flush, scampering into the office of, yes you guessed it, "Ahern and McDonald".

What does this tell us. It says that they knew they were doing wrong and that's why they have made the superficial changes just described. It also explains why the Louth listings were the last up this month which left many homeowners not knowing if they were lised until only a day or two before the hearings. the Registrar and her clique were busy with their sissors, selotape, tippex and pens, but not busy enough it would seem.

No doubt the resilient branch members in Louth will continue like a badger on a leg and bite deeper into the matrix of interests that is Louth Circuit Court. We will keep you updated.


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