Celbridge resident in High Court PUP case
A Romanian man living in Ireland for many years has brought a High Court challenge against the State's decision to stop paying him the Covid19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) after he temporarily left the state for family reasons.
The action has been taken by Mihai Adrian Hofman, with an address at Willowbrook Lodge, Celbridge Co Kildare, who has resided in Ireland since 2010.
Like many thousands of workers, Mr Hofman, who works as a chef, began to receive the PUP payments in late March of this year.
In late June he had to return to Romania due to a family emergency. Arising out of him leaving the State his PUP payment was unilaterally ceased.
He returned to Ireland on July 21st. He had intended to return a week earlier but was prevented from doing so due to a flight cancellation.
He claims that the decision was unreasonable and flew in the face of common sense and was wrong in law.
As an Irish resident he was entitled to the PUP payment, it is claimed.
In addition, he claims the decision was unlawful because he was not given notice of nor an opportunity to address the issues as to why his PUP was being stopped.
He attempted to have his PUP payment restored, and his arrears discharged. However, the Minister has refused to do that.
As a result, has brought proceedings against the Minister for Social Protection, Ireland and the Attorney General.
In his action Mr Hofman seeks orders quashing the Minister's decision to refuse to reinstate his PUP payments and make back payments to him.
He also seeks declarations including that the Minister erred in law in ceasing Mr Hofman's PUP payment, and that he was entitled to notice, and an opportunity to address issues raised by the Minister before the payment was stopped.
Counsel for Mr Hofman, Derek Shortall SC, with Brendan Hennessy Bl, told the court that a similar action had come before the courts in recent weeks, but that action had been resolved.
The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan on Monday , who on an ex-parte basis granted Mr Hofman permission to bring his challenge.
The judge made the matter returnable to a date in January.