Thursday, 30 July 2020
Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
Michael Collins (Cork South West, Independent)
I want to speak to the amendment. The Bill is dressed up to appear as if it is only dealing with matters related to Covid-19. However, centuries of legislation will be abolished to appease vulture funds who evict Irish families. Chapter 3 relates to a very important decision in the Court of Appeal recently on the admissibility of hearsay, Promontoria v. Burns. The case took in all of the other relevant authorities and, in effect, gave the vultures and receivers a route to court and a more than credible defence in terms of how they might present the alleged evidence.
The Bill is going through the House at breakneck speed. The Burns case was heard in April and the Bill was proposed in July. The Government not only wants to kill the decision in the Burns case in its it entirety, but also make it easier to take evidence from third parties in civil proceedings which would make the system a free-for-all. People do not have to identify where they got information from. All that is required is that they believe it to be true and that should be good enough, according to the Bill as worded.
The Bill cannot and should not be allowed to be passed in its current form. It is a blatant attempt to further the cause of vulture funds and receivers, in particular, who have been finding the courts a much rockier road of late. Chapter 3 needs to be amended accordingly or discarded.