Ed’s Shearing


Master of the High Court, Ed Honohan


A petition launched during the weekend calling for the reinstatement of the Master of the High Court Ed Honohan to overseeing debt cases.

Last Thursday, Mr Honohan was informed by a journalist that President of the High Court Peter Kelly had removed debt cases from the Master’s list.

Via Change.org:

We The People, hereby petition the Irish High Court, to reverse any decision to remove debt related cases, from the Master Of The High Court, Edmund Honohan.

We respectfully remind Our Court, of its obligations to uphold the Irish Constitution; giving particular mention to fundamental rights therein. Our country has a worsening housing and homelessness crisis, and citizens being subjected to home evictions are now neglected by our elected representatives. Civil rights must be given precedence, as per Constitutional, Statute and ECHR Laws.

Social Housing must be provided. And all homeless children and their families made safe and secure without delay. Additionally our ‘not for profit’ Irish Housing organisations can be facilitated as rental agents, in preference to International Vulture fund home purchases; which should be blocked indefinitely.

We believe that Edmund Honohan acts stoically, in the interests of the Irish people, justice and good law.

His proposed ‘Housing and Fair Mortgage Bill‘ gives merit to our argument, and to his dedication and acumen, in all related regards.

With a tsunami of homelessness in the pipeline, and no Governmental solutions put forward, the proposed removal of Edmund Honohan from debt cases, would be disrespectful to due process for the better good.

We call on The High Court, to pay heed to our collective; as proud citizens of an independent Republic. This petition will be followed up by a hand delivered letter from the Irish people.

Petition to Irish High Court for Edmund Honohan to continue his arbitration of debt cases (Change.org)

Previously: Removing Ed

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48 thoughts on “Ed’s Shearing

  1. Ron

    Great job. Keep the pressure on. Fantastic to see citizen powered change and protest like this. Drain the swamp!

  2. Gabby

    I am just a person. Me and my girlfriend are people, but we don’t call ourselves The People. There used to be a British Sunday newspaper called The People. The People passed into commercial oblivion.

  3. Cian

    I hope no FREEMEN OF THE LAND sign this – because if you do SIGN IT you GIVE consent and A CONTRACT is formed and YOU CAN be jailed. let’s capitalise RANDOM words.

  4. Johnny Keenan

    “The crisis is not that these people are heavily in debt, it is that when they are eventually evicted – and they will be.. …There will still be no public housing for them.”

    Petitions work. This petition needs to be signed. Most contributors on BS are reasonable people. So just sign the petition. If you don’t want to sign the petition you’re saying that the Irish judiciary are corrupt in support of banks and vulture capitalists and you are ok with that. So just come out and say it. Stop hiding behind a made up name.

    If THE PRESIDENT OF the High Court Mr. Justice Peter Kelly can issue a direction to remove debt cases from the Master of the High Court Mr. Justice Edmund Honohan without a reason then we are living in a state of emergency at the very least.

    If this was a petition for some self serving banal cause it would have a lot more than 900 signatures.

    This is probably the most undemocratic and morally illegal decision made by Irish justice system in years.

    If they can do this to someone in such a high position as Mr. Justice Edmund Honohan has, think what they can do to a young family who is struggling to keep a roof over their heads?

    Irish people are asked time and time again to stand up and fight for their rights but blatantly refuse. With the I’m all right Jack attitude and continue on their Mè Fein path of arrogance and ignorance. They troll online. They’d take their father and mother out of their home to sell it from underneath them. There is a bad element of paddies and biddies on this scary land. So when you’re asking people to stand up and fight for their rights and the rights of others you have to realise exactly who shares the same concerns and who has empathy with the thousands of people that are on the edge of homelessness.

    If the pen is mightier than the sword then in 2019 the keyboard and smartphone must be way more powerful than any decision made in our corridors of power.
    We just have to connect with each other in a smart way.

    If this petition gets just 1000 signatures it will have no impact but if it gets 100000 signatures it will have a massive impact.
    I can’t believe I have to state that fact.

    So please sign the petition and get all your family and friends and all your online social network friends colleagues and acquaintances to sign this petition.
    It’s never being easier to make a difference online that will have a lasting effect offline.
    It’s the least you can do today. You should see see it as your patriotic duty.

    Thanks, fair play, good luck and up the rebels

    Information Is Knowledge
    Knowledge Is Power

    1. axelf

      how did that admiralty law course work out?

      honohan had the cases removed because he wasn’t following the law. if you want to get the law changed then contact your local TD

      1. Johnny Keenan

        @axelf what if your local TD is a FG FF?

        It’s great to see FF TD John McGuinness draft a bill with Edmund Honohan but why isn’t Martin and other Fianna Failers looking for answers.
        It was FF who created the housing crisis in the first place while FG looked on and did nothing.
        So ask a TD do do their job, absolutely. Just make sure you ask one that isn’t corrupt. Good luck with that btw

    2. Mel

      This petition should really get zero signatures .However in a world where up is down and black is white it will attract a few wingnuts, we have no shortage in the country. It has no merit. Your post is epic delusion as is this petition.
      If you want an independent and impartial judiciary, then you will not sign this petition. If you want the opposite you will.
      There is nothing ‘morally illegal”(whatever that means) about the decision to remove these cases from Mr. Honohan. Your ignorance does not change that.

      1. Johnny Keenan

        @Mel why were they changed? That’s the legitimate question here. If you’re not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
        ‘ It’s your moral duty to disobey unjust laws’ Martin Luther King.

        Not a member of Kings Inn.

          1. Frilly Keane

            Oh stfu Rotile

            Your no Clive Anderson yerself

            I’m not going to defend Johnny Keenan here
            Or the crowd of ye know whats he’s shouting and roaring for theses days
            That’s his business

            But one thing
            I have always said about him
            He always means well

            However effed up things are lately
            Its his choice
            Lay’ve him at it

            But Johnny Keenan would never be so condescending about anyone in the way you were just now
            He would never demean someone as personally as that

            He might shout rant and roar for Ireland
            At the flip of a switch
            But none if it is personally targeted

            Unlike your own behaviour

    3. Rob_G

      Perhaps you could use some of the money that won playing blackjack against Chinese millionaires in Las Vegas to finance this campaign, johnny.

      1. johnny

        Rob-you play against the house in Blackjack,the players at the table don’t play each other!
        Its probably not your finest moment on here:)

        1. Rob_G

          Well, you are right, I’ve never played cards with Chinese millionaires as you have, so I wouldn’t know.

      2. rotide

        You’re confusing two different johnnys.

        One is the cross coast jetsetter who when not gambling in las vegas with international millionaires is growing hydroponic cannabis, doing humanitarian housing work and surfing.

        The other is Johnny keenan, the lovable member of BotTV who doesn’t know a huge amount about anything at all, gets confused quite a lot but is willing to rebel against whatever you have.

        1. johnny

          -hey failed editor its Bi-Coastal only an oul fella like you,trying desperately get some attention and to be hip and cool, would use ‘cross coast’- like seriously are you in your 60’s or 70’s ?

          -again with the ‘hydrponic cannabis’-who has ever uttered these words expect a moron-oh hi im wondering if perhaps you have any hydroponic cannabis….

          -you really are a joke but not in a funny way,are you always this miserable or just on here,I can almost smell the despair,the lack of hope, the stench of failure from here….

          -wax a board there are great waves off Ireland,get your hands on some good hydro,I recommend the OG,light it up and chill man ,all this bitterness and jealousy is bad for your health old man.

          Cross coast-omg that’s so old school…………..

          Did your mum not teach you any manners, you appear quite ferral,if you don’t have something nice say,dont say anything !

          1. Johnny Keenan

            Fair play Johnny. You know more about the ole codger rotide than me. A failed editor huh, that says it all.
            He just seems to be living a failed dream with every comment he hides behind on BS. What ground breaking news source was he editor for?

        2. Johnny Keenan

          To be fair rotide I have to agree with some of your description of me. I am naive when it comes to certain issues and that leads to confusion. I am too trusting of people. I seem to give them the benefit of the doubt. I can be manipulated quite easily and lied to without me knowing. I do figure out things in the long run though. That’s why I rebel against tools of the establishment because I believe in decency and honesty and people who promote those moral attributes.

    4. Trueblueterry

      Johnny Keenan, why did you not bring a petition when Discovery Motions were taken from his list?

      I think you may have a misunderstanding of the role of the Master of the High Court, his function is purely administrative.

      Whilst the Master may have formed the opinion over the years that he has more than an administrative function, there are countless decisions of the High Court which state this to be untrue. The Master has chosen to ignore these. That my friend would be considered far more unconstitutional than the President of the High Court acting within the powers he possesses.

      I did also find it ironic that you have chosen to place “Information Is Knowledge, Knowledge Is Power” at the end of your diatribe, the majority of which is factually incorrect.

      1. Johnny Keenan

        @Truenlyeterry you seem to know a lot more about the law than me. Still you want to direct me into an area I should be doing more. Are you on the side of tenants rights or big business bullying?

        Mr Justice Honohan saw a pattern developing in the law that saw areas of the Irish judiciary favour banks and vulture capitalists over Irish citizens. Viewing this as unconstitutional he decided to do something about it.
        A whistle blower in the public sector. I know this is an ailien notion to public servants in general. If it wasn’t we would have more whistle blowers across the public sector.
        Remember Maurice McCabe?

        I notice many opinions on here that are completely on the side of apathetic and docile public servants.
        Instead of doing the job the people’s taxes pay for, they are on Broadsheet and other forums trolling and diverting real conversation. They have the audacity to be doing this at the same time they are meant to be working to make this country better, For The People!

        Let’s just see the vile comments come out against the nurses strike in the next few weeks. Probably by the same ‘contributors’ who are trying to discredit Edmund Honohan Master Of The High Court for having a conscience and doing his job on behalf the will of the people.
        The fact is, if more public servants did the same, Ireland wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in.

        Another thing I find fairly pathetic on this site is the playing of the man rather than the ball analogy

        1. Conall

          I think that removing someone because of their decisions sets a very dangerous precedent for our law generally.

          There are other mechanisms which could have been used if Honohan was in fact doolally.

          However what he is is not doolally but out of step with the rest of the judiciary. Rather than seeking to interpret papers and rules in such a way as to assist banks and vulture funds he seeks to interpret them in such a way as to assist the person against whom the banks and vulture funds are proceeding.

          The idea that there is one right answer in law is laughable particularly coming from lawyers who get paid precisely because there isn’t.

          As for the innuendo re Master Honohan’s personal life frankly I would be a lot more concerned about the financial status of judges. In particular I would be very concerned about judges with substantial mortgages dealing with cases involving banks.

          I would also be concerned about the extent to which existing judges will curtail themselves because of Kelly’s action.

          I notice none of the lawyers on this site have responded to Broadsheet’s post of last Friday querying the legal basis for Judge Kelly’s decision. The matter is not analogous to discovery motions since under the Rules discovery motions ‘may’ be given to the Master but summary summonses ‘must’ go before him.

          Perhaps Master Honohan is right that young barristers focus on things other than legal rules to the detriment of their presentations in court.

          1. Trueblueterry

            If the reason to remove the Master was based upon his decisions it would not be because the Court did not like the decisions he has made, it would be that his decisions do not reflect good law.

            The basis of our legal system is judicial precedence, the Master continually sought to ignore this, not only this, he criticised Judges of the High Court in his Court. This only serves to wound justice. This is not a case of the Master’s interpretation as he is obliged to apply decisions of superior Courts and he refused or neglected to do so.

            Finally, if one is to argue that the Master is part of the Judiciary then one should be horrified that he involved himself in the drafting of a Bill before the Legislature. This is an affront to the separation of powers.

    1. Trueblueterry

      Are you referring the the comment by “Bewildered Former Devil’”?

      If so, any Motion that will be before the High Court will be by way of an application for final Judgment and not for liberty to enter final Judgment. Therefore, it does not amend Order 37 Rule 1 as the practice direction simple dictates that the application will be before the High Court and thereby by way of Motion for final Judgment.

      1. Conall

        Terry, of course it is amending Order 37 Rule 1.

        Order 37 Rule 1 specifically provides that such motions ‘shall be set down’ before the Master. What the Practice Direction does is skip the ‘liberty to enter final judgment’ stage specifically provided for in the rules. It’s like getting rid of the Statement of Claim stage in plenary proceedings. It can only be done by amendment to the Rules. I cannot believe that this is being done without such amendment. Under the Rules, the Court only has jurisdiction to hear the case when the Master has transferred it or when an appeal against the Master’s refusal to transfer is unsuccessful. Effectively the Direction renders the entire Rule 37 redundant.

        The situation is completely different with discovery motions as the Rules simply say the Master ‘may’ hear them.

        I was hoping that there was a provision in the Courts Act allowing amendment by the President which Bewildered Former Devil had missed. If the best argument in support of Kelly’s actions is that Order 37 is not being amended, that’s a very lame argument indeed.

        It is shocking to think that a SI is being changed in this way. Even if you disapprove of the Master, it sets a very dubious precedent for future actions by the President.

        1. Trueblueterry

          Conall, one does not seek liberty to enter final Judgment before the High Court , they seek final Judgment. The Master does not possess the jurisdiction to grant final Judgment (hence the liberty) but a High Court Judge does.

          I fail to see the correlation between a case management stage and a document that sets out the basis for your claim.

          Rules do not supersede the Constitution. As the Court of First Instance, the High Court has the absolute jurisdiction to hear these matters if it so choose, any Rule preventing such would clearly be be deemed unconstitutional under Article 34.3.1.

          It is further ironic that you seek to infer that the President is acting outside his jurisdiction as part of your argument supporting the Master, yet you ignore the constant and flagrant actions of the Master in acting outside his jurisdiction. This Judgment is just the last example in a long list:

          1. Conall


            My point is that the Rules specifically provide that before one seeks judgment before the High Court on a summary summons, one goes before the Master for liberty to enter final judgment. Whether you describe it as a case management stage or not it is mandated by the Rules which is an SI.

            Surely if the liberty to enter final judgment is removed this is a change in the Rules? Order 37 Rule 1 specifically provides for this stage.

            I frankly cannot understand why you seek to argue that the Practice Direction does not change the Rules. Of course it does. It removes the initial stage of the summary summons procedure provided for specifically in the Rules on a mandatory basis. Whether or not this makes much difference in substance is another matter (though it will certainly speed applications up) but it is definitely a change in the Rules. I can’t see any provision in the Rules or the Courts Acts allowing this to be altered other than by the Rules Committee. Perhaps this has been done (one would certainly hope so) but it’s unfortunately not stated in the Practice Direction.

            If the Master has been acting outside his jurisdiction this makes it all the more important, to retain confidence in the judiciary, that the legal basis for any action against him is clearly stated. I say this as someone who believes strongly in the value of the judicial role and has considerable admiration for the President of the High Court for his principled stance on many issues.

            The constitutional prerogative argument is interesting and better than your attempt to argue that the Rules are not being changed, but why then did Kelly not reference this Article in the Practice Direction as the legal basis? All he referred to was simply a statutory provision referring in general terms to the President’s powers under the Courts Acts. Do you know of any specific provision in the Courts Acts giving the President this sort of power? Genuinely perplexed and concerned and would love to be reassured on this.

          2. Trueblueterry


            I need not argue whether or not this is or isn’t an amendment of the Rules. Ultimately Section 10(3) of 1961 Act clearly and unambiguously states:

            “(3) It shall be the function of the President of the High Court or, where he is not available, the senior ordinary judge of the High Court who is for the time being available to arrange the distribution and allocation of the business of the High Court.”

            This clearly is the business of the High Court and is clearly capable of allocation.

            What purpose do you believe the Master serves? His clearly is clearly defined as administrative yet he seeks on a continuing basis to pass judgment in contested matters where is he acting wildly outside his jurisdiction. The end result of his actions solely cause further costs to all parties and further damages, with the result being the same as had he dealt with it in the appropriate manner.

          3. Actio Non Accrevit

            The thing is, you can’t really avoid the question of whether it is an amendment of the rules.

            Although the section you quote allows the President to direct the business of the High Court, presumably that means direct the business of the High Court in accordance with the Rules.

            Otherwise it would be inconsistent with the provision in the Courts Acts Bewildered or should I say Rather Knowing Devil quoted saying that the Rules can only be amended by the Rules Committee etc etc.

          4. Actio Non Accrevit

            Regarding the purpose of the Master, abolish him by all means, but do so in the proper manner rather than by a Practice Direction which is actually a fundamental change to the Rules. Have you not considered the constitutional consequences of unilateral judicial amendment of a statutory instrument required by statute to be amended by the Rules Committee? The tilting of the delicate balance between the legislative and the judicial power?

          5. Conall


            I don’t think the President has the power to allocate other than in accordance with the Rules, there must be harmonious interpretation between Section 10 of the 1961 Act and that other provision BD cited which provides that the Rules can only be altered by Committee.

            The office of the Master of the High Court has been held by ‘characters’ since I was a young pup, interesting that it only became a problem when the eccentricity became more public and/or began to be exercised against banks and their counsel rather than random unfortunate litigants/barristers.

            If the office is to be abolished do it in a way that shows respect to all parties involved even if the feeling is that they themselves lack respect for others.

            Justice must be seen to be above pettiness.

          6. Trueblueterry


            Section 5 of the Court Officers Act, 1926 states:

            “5.—(1) The Master of the High Court shall have the general superintendence and control of such of the offices established by this Part of this Act as are attached to the High Court but shall in the exercise of such superintendence and control be subject to the general direction of the Minister in regard to all matters of general administration and to the directions of the President of the High Court in regard to all matters relating to the conduct of that part of the business of the High Court which is for the time being required by law to be transacted by or before one or more of the Judges of that Court”

            This clearly give the President the jurisdiction to deal with all matters relating to the conduct of business of the High Court that is before the Master. The President has chosen to use his inherent powers and remove certain matters from before the Master.

            Finally, former Master’s may have been ‘characters’ as you describe them but they showed reverence to the High Court in the manner befitting their position and in the interest of due process. The current Master on the other hand appears to view the High Court Judges with a degree of contempt and willfully ignored their judgments.

            A perfect example of the behaviour of the Master can be found in AIB & AIB Mortgage Bank v Honohan [2015] IEHC 247, wherein Justice O’Malley states at paragraph 172:

            “However, I think that what occurred on the 23rd July, 2014, is a matter for real concern. Adopting the test of the reasonable onlooker, the sequence of events was that the respondent announced that his legal advisers had advised him to formally request the withdrawal of the special summons. (It may be noted that it would be a surprising thing for any public official to do this in a public forum. It is particularly surprising for the request to be made by a senior court official sitting to transact court business.) A reasonably informed onlooker would know that the effect of a withdrawal of the summons would have been to render the judicial review moot. Counsel representing the applicants refused to withdraw the summons. The respondent subsequently struck it out.”

          7. Conall

            Okay Terry, we get it, you strongly disapprove of the Master.

            However I really don’t think that section covers it either.

            I don’t think a specific mandatory provision of the Rules can be changed by Practice Direction. That enabling power granted to the President is an enabling power to supplement and act within the Rules only.

  5. Actio Non Accrevit


    Judges have no authority to lay down practice directions which change the rules in the CPR. (link below).

    As the courts.ie website describes practice directions in similar terms as intended to complement (and presumably not to amend) the rules of court, I expect the same applies in Ireland..


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