One of the methods of dealing with corruption in the Banana Republic of Ireland is to pretend it doesn’t exist. The use of language is very important in achieving this end.
So, A bank executive doesn’t cheat on his taxes, he has ‘tax issues’. Banks don’t rob their customers, ‘system errors’ have occurred. A solicitor doesn’t rob his client; he ‘mistakenly overcharges’. All very unfortunate but nothing deliberate, you understand, no organised plan to plunder the modest awards of very vulnerable people.
The following is a sample of the experiences of these people as heard on Liveline.
Rita €13,000 demanded as percentage of award minutes before facing redress board, eventual ‘settlement’ €7,000. Told there was a shortfall. Money deducted directly by solicitor before victim saw the cheque. No itemised bill provided.
Norman €11,000 demanded minutes after getting his award. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill provided.
Marie €3,000 demanded. Money deducted from cheque. No itemised bill provided.
Nora 4% of award demanded. No itemised bill provided.
Jack €5,000 demanded. Money deducted after solicitor lodged cheque in bank. No itemised bill provided.
Maura €5,000 demanded and deducted. Told there was a shortfall. Solicitor refused to give itemised bill. Maura’s cheque had her solicitors name on it. She was provided with a photocopy of her original cheque.
Margaret €3,000 demanded and deducted minutes after getting award. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill provided.
Mary €12,000 demanded and deducted on day of award. Solicitor claims he had her permission to take the money. Work involved 15 letters and one phone call.
Mark 10% of award demanded just after getting his award. Mark challenged the demand, solicitor ran away.
Peter €7,000 demanded and deducted. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill.
Chris €5,000 demanded immediately after award. Chris challenged the demand, solicitor ran away.
Joan €7,600 demanded. Told there was a shortfall. No itemised bill provided. She was told that envelopes cost €300. She received two letters in all.
THE Solicitors Amendment Act which became law in 1994 is quite clear –
A SOLICITOR SHALL NOT DEDUCT OR APPROPRIATE ANY AMOUNT IN RESPECT OF ALL OR ANY PART OF HIS CHARGES FROM THE AMOUNT OF ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER MONIES THAT BECOME PAYABLE TO A CLIENT THAT THAT SOLICITOR ARISING OUT OF ANY CONTENTIOUS BUSINESS CARRIED OUT ON BEHALF OF THAT CLIENT BY THE SOLICITOR
Keep in mind that ALL of the expenses incurred by solicitors in these cases are already paid for by the taxpayer.
Because these thieves operate in a state that is itself corrupt means that not one of them will face real justice