Northern Ireland news

Couple who claimed Irish officials were trying to murder them have £1.6m lawsuit struck out

The couple's £1.6m lawsuit was struck out, the High Court in Belfast ruled

A COUPLE who made unfounded claims that the Taoiseach and other senior Irish officials were trying to murder them are to have a £1.6m lawsuit struck out, the High Court in Belfast has ruled.

Zeus Mitchell and her husband Daniel Osula arrived in Northern Ireland alleging Leo Varadkar, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Chief State Solicitor and judges in Dublin wanted them killed to conceal "a very serious crime".

They sued a Housing Executive representative and a service within a Health and Social Care Trust over how their baseless claims were dealt with.

But Master Bell, sitting at the High Court, granted applications by both defendants to have the actions against them dismissed for being frivolous and hopeless.

He said: "To allow this action to proceed would represent a waste of public money and delay the cases of other litigants whose cases deserve court time."

A newly published judgment sets out how Ms Mitchell and a son declared themselves homeless to the Housing Executive in February 2017.

She claimed the Taoiseach had instructed other government officials to murder her family in the Republic, Master Bell noted.

Within a few days temporary accommodation had been allocated to Ms Mitchell and her children.

Mr Osula then came to Belfast, met Housing Executive officers and reiterated the allegations.

The plaintiffs claimed the authority refused to fund their emergency accommodation and insisted their family must be returned to the Republic.

In March 2017, according to their case, a social worker from Gateway Social Services - part of the trust being sued - visited their home to compile a report on the family.

The husband and wife alleged both plaintiffs purposefully excluded their claim from the report to protect the names of the Irish government officials they contended were involved in an attempt to murder a British family in the Republic of Ireland, the court heard.

It was claimed that the report amounted to an attempt to undermine their British citizenship.

Seeking a combined sum of £1.6m in damage from the two defendants, the couple listed a series of perceived torts, including illegal extradition, fraud, defamation and violation of their human rights.

Part of their writ involved a claim of being falsely imprisoned at an address in west Belfast because they were the only British citizens living in the area.

They also sought the resignation from public office of all defendants named in the proceedings.

Both defendants applied to have the case struck out for having no reasonable cause of action.

Granting the legal bid, Master Bell ruled the claims must be struck out on the basis of being futile or misconceived.

"The plaintiffs' allegation is that various Irish officials have attempted to murder them," he said.

"They have alleged no act which has been committed by any of the Irish officials which is capable of being viewed, to use the language of the statute, as more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence of murder. "

He added: "However, even if it were true that the Irish Prime Minister, the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions, the Irish Chief State Solicitor, judges, police officers and Revenue officials had been involved in a conspiracy to have the plaintiffs murdered, it would be highly unlikely that the Housing Executive and Gateway Social Services would believe it to be true.

"Therefore any action taken by the Housing Executive and Gateway Social Services would not be for the purpose of protecting the identity of the conspirators."

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