This really is a crucial story to break on the national airwaves. The allegations made on yesterday’s liveline are well worth repeating, the gravity of the situation could not be over estimated. The allegations amount to theft, greed, lies, involving significant amounts of money being taken from people who were the subject of institutional State abuse.
John Twomey, London Irish Center: (paraphrasing)
One woman, Mary, was charged €12,000 by her solicitor, despite the fact that the Redress Board was already paying the solicitor in question for their work. That involved a year of work, they didn’t have a single attendance on Mary, there were a total of 2 memos with regard to telephone attendances, they submitted 2 medical reports to the Redress Board, and the case was settled.
The moment it was settled she was called aside by the solicitor and asked to sign a document. This document gave authority for the solicitor to take €12,000 from her. Not only that, but the solicitor in question noted that they were entitled to €108,000 in fees.
It gets worse. The Redress Board sent the settlement cheque, made out to Mary, to her solicitors. But somehow, and if true, completely illegally, the solicitor negotiated the cheque into their own bank account, and then sent a cheque to Mary minus the €12,000 fee to which they were not entitled. This could also suggest collusion between a solicitor and their bank, and we all know what banks get up to in Ireland.
This is on top of the fact that the solicitors in question received €14,000 in fees from the Redress Board.
When people sought redress from the Law Society they were refused, the Law Society declined to investigate, as they must protect the client’s confidentiality. Yes you read that right. They were protecting you by not investigating what you were complaining about.
By the way all this is illegal under the Solicitor’s Act 1994, Section 8.
But in this Banana Republic will a criminal investigation take place?