Institutional abuse victims sue over data breach

Institutional abuse victims sue over data breach

MORE than 70 people are to take a class action after the identities of over 250 institutional abuse victims were revealed in a major data breach last year. In a writ to be lodged in the High Court, victims are suing the former interim victims' advocate Brendan McAllister and the Executive Office for damages. It is understood to be one of the largest class actions in Northern Ireland's legal history. The survivors' identities were accidentally circulated in an email sent by Mr McAllister's office in May 2020. Some of those identified included victims and survivors who are suffering from serious psychiatric issues and others whose families do not know they were abused. The writ, issued by solicitor Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law, stated that abuse victims have "suffered and continue to suffer distress, anxiety and reputational damage". Ms McKeegan said "survivors and victims of institutional abuse require their privacy and data protection more than most". "They put their faith in the interim advocate's office and shared highly...
Read More
Stardust Inquest delayed on 40th anniversary of fire.

Stardust Inquest delayed on 40th anniversary of fire.

The Stardust families who face the 40th anniversary of the Dublin tragedy this week have been "let down by the State once again" as its inquest is delayed. This weekend marks 40 years since 48 young people sadly lost their lives in the fire which gutted the Stardust nightclub in Artane on Valentine's Day 1981. Today, it has emerged that the inquest into the fire which saw 214 further people injured has been stalled due to funding issues. The inquest was due to begin by May, with two remote hearings postponed in December and January, but now solicitor Darragh Mackin says the Department of Justice has still failed to approve funding for barristers for the families. Mackin is leading the Phoenix Law legal team which represents 46 families affected by the fire and says the lack of funding so far will lead to further delays. The inquest is expected to be the largest in the history of the State. Senator Lynn Boylan, who has continuously campaigned...
Read More
Court of Appeal – Legacy Victims’ Pensions victory

Court of Appeal – Legacy Victims’ Pensions victory

The Executive Office is under a legal duty to fund a pension scheme for victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Senior judges made the declaration in an ongoing legal battle by one of the so-called Hooded Men to break the political stalemate over who pays the compensation. In August last year, the High Court held that the Executive Office deliberately stymied introduction of the scheme in a bid to force the UK Government into footing the bill. Following that verdict, the Department of Justice was designated to administer the programme. Since then, however, a funding dispute between Stormont and Westminster has continued. A draft budget announced by Sinn Féin Finance Minister Conor Murphy last month only included the administrative costs of pensions. With no order made in the first court case to provide grant funding, Brian Turley appealed that outcome in a bid to ensure the necessary financial package is immediately put in place. He was among 14 men detained,...
Read More
Colin, Hannahstown & Glen Road Residents mount challenge against Mullaghglass Landfill

Colin, Hannahstown & Glen Road Residents mount challenge against Mullaghglass Landfill

Residents are mounting legal action over the smell from a Belfast landfill site. Mullaghglass Landfill has been the subject of more than 100 complaints from residents to the authorities. Phoenix Law has been instructed by concerned residents to commence litigation to ensure steps are taken by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the local council.e are angry and it feels like things are getting worse Resident Mairead Connolly said: “It is simply unacceptable that we have had to suffer this for so long. “We are angry and it feels like things are getting worse. “As a result of the inaction, we have now instructed our solicitors to initiate legal proceedings.” Harry Robinson, of Phoenix Law, said the statutory bodies were absolving themselves of responsibility by failing to take action. He added: “We have now initiated legal proceedings in which we intend on seeking damages by way of compensation for those residents affected by this ongoing odour.” The Mullaghglass Landfill site in Belfast (PA) In November, Environment Minister Edwin Poots...
Read More
Permission to challenge PSNI decision to question

Permission to challenge PSNI decision to question

A north Belfast republican has secured High Court permission to challenge a decision by police to stop and question him at an airport. Lawyers for Aidan Ferguson claim anti-terrorism legislation was unlawfully used to examine him on his return from a trip to Spain. He was granted leave to seek a judicial review in a case brought against the PSNI. Mr Ferguson, who describes himself as a community activist, issued proceedings over an incident at Belfast International Airport in November 2019. The Ardoyne man claims he was approached on arrival by police officers who knew his name and gave the impression they were stopping him for specific reasons. He was informed that the action was being taken under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, according to papers in the case. During a 20-minute period he was allegedly asked his views on the Irish border, Brexit and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In an affidavit provided as part of the case, Mr Ferguson claimed he was not...
Read More
Black Lives Matter protesters being treated as organised criminals

Black Lives Matter protesters being treated as organised criminals

Phoenix Law continue to act for those fined at the BLM protests in Belfast and Derry. Recently, those speakers and organisers of the events have had to attend for interview to be questioned about offences under the Serious Crime Act 2007. We continue to support those individuals challenging fines and those considered organisers. Pre-Action Protocol correspondence has issued with a view that judicial review proceedings will issue in the near future. Full Story Here ...
Read More