Vincent’s is a particularly distressing story of mistreatment by authority figures that begins with Vincent being committed at age two, to 14 years in the notorious Irish Industrial School system in the 1940’s - apparently for the ‘crime’ of ‘having an unfit mother’.
In 2002, now living under care, Vincent was advised to apply for compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Board (the RIRB), and engaged a Dublin solicitor for this purpose. After three years of shoddy and shameful activities, including double-charging, repeated delays, and contempt for his client, the solicitor was eventually fired and a complaint was prepared for the Complaints Department at the Law Society. The solicitor (who claimed to have ‘connections’ at the Law Society) nevertheless submitted an unvouched and unverified bill to the RIRB for nearly €23,000 Euros - which would later be reduced to €7,000 by the Taxing Master. Under circumstances where his official complaint was pending, Vincent strenuously objected to this contrived bill being paid from the Irish taxpayer’s purse.
It took 14 letters and nearly 12 months before Vincent could simply access the complaints process. Despite their own ‘advice to complainants’ brochure clearly stating that a complainant can appoint a friend or family member to assist, the Head of the Law Society’s Complaints Department repeatedly failed to engage with Vincent’s chosen representative. Eventually, they acknowledged receipt of Vincent’s 187-page complaint in 2007, assuring him that it would be properly dealt with. In 2008, after failing to answer a series of letters, the Law Society advised Vincent that they would be in touch “once the investigation was completed”. After hearing nothing further, Vincent wrote again in 2010 enquiring as to the status of his complaint submitted in 2006. After ignoring several of Vincent’s letters the incredible response given was that the case was closed by the Law Society in 2008, and they ‘regretted the oversight’ in not notifying Vincent. Vincent then approached the Independent Adjudicator of the Law Society and was similarly dismissed out-of-hand. The Independent Adjudicator, who considers herself a ‘professional colleague’ of the Head of the Complaints Department for several years, stated that she was ‘personally satisfied that the investigation was conducted properly’ and that the matter was now closed!
Despite repeated formal requests, Vincent has never been given a single iota of evidence that any investigation was ever carried out. The Dublin solicitor continues in practice.
The case of Vincent ‘X’