Bankrupt woman loses European elections bid
HIGH COURT WON’T DEAL WITH CHALLENGE UNTIL JULY
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.