• January 6, 2016


Our thanks to James Corrin for digging out the Irish Times report by Legal correspondent Carol Coulter and the Gubay – Drower case and other examples of the persecution of Roly Drower not least the use against him of an ‘Anton Pillar order’ (see note below) a nefarious legal device that should have no place in a State that calls itself democratic (link):


Coulters article parallels the Guardian article, referred to earlier. I think there were also items in Private Eye at the time (link):


A crucial factor in demolishing the defence put up by Drower was that ‘he was not a journalist’ (link):


However he was probably more of a journalist than many who purportedly practised that profession on the Island!

Coulter goes into much more detail and the article together with the Guardian piece extends beyond the Gubay case including the scandal involving the resignation of the Chief Minister. It will make interesting reading to young people or those who did not pick up on it at the time.

The article exposed just how seedy some of the business antics were here in the 1990s and early 2000s.

I am quoted as saying: “In a small community there is an incestuous relationship between the police, the judiciary and public officials.”

Can we really say it has changed?

Finally, I note mention of Advocate Paul O’Neill and I think what never has been recorded is the vast amount of time and effort he put in for Roly on the case most of it pro bono.

Paul was one of a very small number of Advocates (who invariably found themselves harassed) who would do Civil Liberties work on the Island. Sadly he committed suicide in Scotland in 2009

Photograph: The late Roly Drower.
Note: Anton Piller (Search/Seizure Order)

Anton Piller orders are also known as Search/Seizure orders. The Anton Pillar is a court order which orders a defendant to give a plaintiff permission to search premises and/or seize certain evidence/documentation without prior warning. It is used to prevent destruction of incriminating evidence, particularly in cases of alleged trademark, copyright or patent infringements.

It is considered to be a highly draconian remedy since the right to apply for the order arises on an ex partebasis. Because such an order is essentially unfair to the accused party, Anton Piller orders are only issued when onerous conditions are met by the party applying for the order.

In order to successfully obtain an Anton Pillar order there must be an extremely strong prima facie case against the respondent. That case must prove that the potential consequences of not obtaining the order must be very serious, and the court must be presented with a clear evidence that the respondents have in their possession incriminating documents or things and that there is a real possibility that they may destroy such material before an inter partes application are can be made.
It is important to stress, that the Manx civil court has the power to issue a search warrant giving a party the power to enter another’s premises. The order does not authorise advocates or anyone else to enter the defendants’ premises against their will. The plaintiffs must get the defendants’ permission. However, what the Anton Piller does is it actually orders a defendant to give permission to enter. It is not a criminal search warrant, and is not a tool utilised by the Police.
Issued by: The Celtic News


The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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