Woman cannot run for election because of bankruptcy

Jillian Godsil, whose house was repossessed, wants to run for local and European elections.

Jillian Godsil, whose family home near Shillelagh was repossessed last year, wants to run for election but is being prevented from doing so because she is an undischarged bankrupt.

Ms Godsil, who is now based in Coolroe, Tinahely, has brought a case before the High Court challenging the Electoral Act and the European Parliamentary Elections Act which exclude bankrupt people from running for office.

Ms Godsil wants to run in the Ireland South constituency for Europe, as well as a local candidate to represent Baltinglass on Wicklow County Council.

She argues that the laws interfere with her right to free choice as a voter and are discriminatory on the basis of socio-economic status.

Ms Godsil wants to campaign on a platform of debt relief and represent those worst affected by the financial crisis in Ireland.

Last year, Bank of Scotland repossessed her family home, Raheengraney House, valued at €1.65m in 2007 with a mortgage of €800,000. The property has since sold for €160,000.

An expensive divorce that left her saddled with the entire mortgage debt from her home added to her financial troubles, and Ms Godsil filed for bankruptcy in Ireland last month.

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