Legal challenge to household charge

High Court proceedings challenging the validity of the controversial household charge have been initiated by a 70-year-old man.

Peter Anthony Keegan, of Belclare, Westport, Co Mayo, has named Environment Minister Phil Hogan, Justice Minister Alan Shatter, and Finance Minister Michael Noonan among the defendants in his case. Mr Keegan maintains all the defendants are in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.

In an affidavit to the High Court, Mr Keegan, who appeared at Westport District Court yesterday, claims the household charge is “unlawful, unconstitutional, and a human rights violation”. The affidavit also claimed the act which brings the charges into effect is “fraudulent, equivalent to dictatorship, bondage, and slavery”.

Mr Keegan and a number of other householders from the area are the first in the country to appear in court in relation to non-payment of the household charge.

When the case came up in Wesport court yesterday, Judge Conall Gibbons said the best thing to do was adjourn pending the outcome of the High Court proceedings.

The judge duly adjourned the case against Mr Keegan and two other local defendants until Mar 7.

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