Bank­rupt woman loses Euro­pean elec­tions bid


Bray People - - NEWS - ES­THER HAY­DEN

TI­NA­HELY woman Jil­lian God­sil has been un­suc­cess­ful with a High Court chal­lenge to al­low her to con­test the Euro­pean elec­tions, as the court does not have time to deal with it.

The case will now be heard in July, with a view to her con­test­ing the next gen­eral elec­tion if her court bid is suc­cess­ful.

How­ever for now her fo­cus is on se­cur­ing a seat on Wick­low County Coun­cil and she is con­cen­trat­ing her ef­forts on her cam­paign to rep­re­sent the Balt­in­glass elec­toral district as an in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor.

Jil­lian hit the head­lines in 2011 when she tried to sell her home on YouTube in a bid to pay for mount­ing debts aris­ing from a mar­i­tal sep­a­ra­tion fol­lowed by di­vorce.

She was ad­ju­di­cated bank­rupt in Fe­bru­ary and be­cause of this is un­able to stand in ei­ther the Euro­pean or Dail elec­tions de­spite want­ing to con­test the EU elec­tions in the Ire­land South con­stituency.

In a bid to change the rules, she launched the High Court chal­lenge which cen­tres on the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of pro­vi­sions of the Elec­toral Act and the Euro­pean Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions Act pre­vent­ing bankrupts con­test­ing Dáil and Euro­pean elec­tions.

She al­leges the ex­clu­sion of bankrupts breaches the con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ple of equal­ity and im­per­mis­si­bly in­ter­feres with her right to a free choice as a voter on her own be­half and on be­half of all elec­tors in the con­stituen­cies where she wishes to run.

The pro­vi­sions have no le­git­i­mate aim, are un­nec­es­sary in a demo­cratic so­ci­ety and amount to in­di­rect dis­crim­i­na­tion on grounds of so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus, she claims.

Last week Mr. Jus­tice Kearns said it may be pos­si­ble to hear the case in mid-April but, if not, it could not be heard be­fore nom­i­na­tions closed on April 28.

The court could not be ex­pected to pro­duce a judg­ment within 10 min­utes of a case end­ing, par­tic­u­larly con­sid­er­ing its im­por­tance.

On Mon­day, he said that the case would not be heard un­til July, mean­ing Ms God­sil is out of the run­ning for the Euro­pean elec­tions and is cur­rently only el­i­gi­ble for the lo­cal elec­tions.

De­spite Mon­day's set­back she said she fully in­tends to see the High Court chal­lenge through in July say­ing that if it were suc­cess­ful she would con­test the next gen­eral elec­tion.

For now though her fo­cus is on the lo­cal elec­tions.

‘ The rea­son that I am run­ning is that I be­lieve I can turn my ex­pe­ri­ence of debt into an as­set for other people strug­gling to cope. This prob­lem is go­ing to get worse be­fore it can get bet­ter and yet there is lit­tle be­ing done to as­sist those in trou­ble, ex­cept in­ef­fi­cient un­sym­pa­thetic law that pro­longs the whole agony.'

Jil­lian God­sil, who lost her High Court bid to al­low her to con­test the Euro­pean elec­tions.

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