Covid 19 – Barber restrictions challenged.

Covid 19 – Barber restrictions challenged.

A group of Belfast barbers have threatened the Northern Ireland Executive with legal action over the region's strict coronavirus restrictions. The businessmen are also challenging the Executive on its decision-making process that led to the regulations coming into force. The barbers include Sean Lawlor of Cambridge Barbershop, Andrew Kavanagh of Camlough Barbers, David Lutton of The Corner Barbershop, and Padraig McShane of Cut N Edge. The Northern Ireland Executive announced that close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, were among a range of businesses required to close until November 13. A scientific paper that guided the Executive's recent decisions on the introduction of the circuit-break, estimated the closure of hairdressers and beauticians could reduce the virus's reproduction number (R number) by 0.05. The paper was published as part of an initiative by the Department of Health to increase transparency around the decision-making process. The group say they are concerned about the "scientific, medical, epidemiological evidence" and how it has been interpreted by Government ministers.  Darragh...
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Covid 19 – Taxi Support Scheme achieved

Covid 19 – Taxi Support Scheme achieved

The Department of Infrastructure has formally requested new powers to set up a hardship scheme for taxi drivers whose trade has collapsed during the pandemic on foot of legal pressure. Partner, Darragh Mackin, representing the group commented, "we warmly welcome the ongoing engagement with the minister and her officials in trying to reach a resolution of the issues with respect to the taxi industry. Today is a very significant step for the taxi industry whereby the minister has now sought the necessary statutory powers to bring about a scheme that will resolve the current financial crisis that has struck the industry." Read more here ...
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Stardust Fire Inquest: Preliminary Hearing

Stardust Fire Inquest: Preliminary Hearing

A pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of 48 people in the Stardust disaster was hailed, on Wednesday, as a “momentous step in the families’ path to justice” by Darragh Mackin, solicitor for the families of 44 of the victims. That those families have had to wait almost 40 years to establish the truth about the death of their loved ones in a fire in a Dublin nightclub on Valentine’s Day in 1981 is unconscionable. At least now, they will be recalled as people rather than numbers or statistics as happened in previous inconclusive enquires. The names of all 48 victims were read into the record at the Dublin Coroner’s Court as those attending stood, in unison, for a minute’s silence. ‘Pen portraits’ of each one will be presented to the inquest when it opens at Dublin Castle next year. The system, used in the Grenfell Tower fire enquiry, puts real people and the lasting pain inflicted on their families, at the centre of...
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Judge rules Executive Office acted unlawfully in delaying Troubles Pension

Judge rules Executive Office acted unlawfully in delaying Troubles Pension

Northern Ireland's Executive Office deliberately and unlawfully refused to advance a pensions scheme for victims of the Troubles, a High Court judge ruled today. Mr Justice McAlinden held that Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill is still not complying with a legal obligation to designate a Stormont department to oversee payments in a bid to force the British government into providing funding. With immediate action now expected before a final order is made in seven days, he expressed hope that the finding of illegality will set in motion a chain of events towards grant funding being provided. The determination came in legal challenges by two victims to the continued impasse around introducing the scheme with an estimated cost of £100 million. Our client, Brian Turley, one of the so-called 'Hooded Men' detained and subjected to special interrogation methods by the British military in the early 1970s was one of the judicial review applicants. Under new guidance anyone convicted of causing serious harm during the Troubles would be...
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Public inquiry for Dalradian goldmine application

Public inquiry for Dalradian goldmine application

The Minister of the Department of Infrastructure has announced an independent public inquiry in respect of the controversial goldmine application made by Dalradian Gold Ltd. Darragh Mackin, Partner acts on behalf of local residents and said on foot of the announcement, "Today’s announcement is a welcome development which is long overdue. It is unquestionable that this application requires careful scrutiny in a transparent manner. However, the devil is in the detail. Any public inquiry needs to ensure that at its heart there is an equality of arms, and that the local community are afforded the same access and involvement as those who seek to advance this contentious application. As has already been established, there are real and immediate risks to the environment and to the local community’s human rights, which must be taken into consideration." Full Story Here ...
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Leave granted to challenge over Troubles pensions

Leave granted to challenge over Troubles pensions

Mr Justice McAlinden sitting at the High Court of Justice yesterday granted permission to challenge the impasse over pensions for victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Phoenix Law contends that the current impasse is, and remains, unlawful. Darragh Mackin, partner, welcomes the comments today by the Court that the issues at the heart of this case are exceptional and require urgent determination. Darragh added: “It is clear from both the underlying legislation in this case that both the Executive Office and the Secretary State have a role to play. Such obligations are unavoidable and require all steps to include the funding of the scheme in place." Full story here. ...
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Black Lives Matter – Fines & Prosecutions.

Black Lives Matter – Fines & Prosecutions.

At recent rallies in Custom House Square, Belfast and Guildhall Hall Square, Derry in support and solidarity for Black Lives Matters the Police Service of Northern Ireland issued 60+ fines to those attending. They further have informed those considered organisers that files will be passed to the Public Prosecution service for consideration of prosecution. Phoenix Law have now been instructed by the majority of those individuals who received fines as well as the organisers to challenge the actions of the Police. Urgent pre action correspondence has issued. Ciaran Moynagh said "Northern Ireland should be hearing the voices and words of the brave people who spoke at the rally’s in Belfast and Derry. Instead we are hearing about people being fined for exercising their rights in what was a responsible manner." Darragh Mackin said "the PSNI erred in law by misconstruing the Regulations. Attending a protest is not, in and of itself, an offence and the socially distanced day of solidarity was not unlawful." Sinead...
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EasyJet Data Breach Compensation – Join the Class Action

EasyJet Data Breach Compensation – Join the Class Action

Darragh Mackin has initiated a group action at the High Court in Belfast for alleged violation of privacy rights following the sophisticated cyber attack against EasyJet. Many NI individuals received an email from EasyJet on Thursday 21st May 2020 informing them that their personal data had been compromised and a smaller group were further notified that their debit/credit card details had also been exposed. Darragh Mackin told the Belfast Telegraph, "it is a mammoth data breach, and a gross failure of responsibility that has undoubtedly had a serious impact on our clients who have suffered considerable distress as a result." If you received any email confirming that your personal information was exposed and you wish to join the class action you should contact us by email at EasyJetClaims@phoenix-law.org If you have been affected and use the log in credentials on other platforms that would be the same as your easyJet credentials, we strongly advise that you immediately change them to minimise further risk...
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Mother’s legal bid to close schools in face of COVID-19

Mother’s legal bid to close schools in face of COVID-19

Phoenix Law has been instructed by the mother of a primary school child from Co Armagh to mount a legal challenge against the decision not to close schools in NI in response to coronavirus. Darragh Mackin says: "We have put the Minster of Education, the Minister of Health, the Education Authority and CCMS on notice of our intention to apply for an emergency judicial review." Full story link ...
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