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Court descends into chaos as bank accuses Dublin couple of failing to vacate their home

Gordon Smith was removed from the court by gardai after refusing to say whether he would abide by a new court order to vacate the Balbriggan property.

HC Nuria 2 Source: Nuria

A HIGH COURT judge has urged a couple to get legal advice or face the prospect of being jailed for contempt over their alleged failure to obey an order to vacate their home.

In what was at times a fraught and somewhat tempestuous hearing Justice Tony O’Connor adjourned proceedings brought by KBC Bank against Linda Hussey Smith and her husband Gordon Smith.

Last month KBC Bank Ireland Plc obtained an injunction against the couple, and anti-eviction campaigner Ben Gilroy requiring them and any other persons to vacate the couple’s home at Chieftain’s Way, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

KBC represented by Rossa Fanning SC said the bank obtained a Circuit Court order for possession of the property in 2016, arising out a failure to make repayments on the mortgage.

KBC obtained possession in February but claims its security staff were forced to leave after persons had kicked, punched and spat at them.

The bank then obtained a High Court injunction against the couple and Gilroy, who it is claimed was seen on the premises, requiring them to vacate the premises by late March.

It claims the couple have failed to comply with the order resulting in motions for alleged contempt being brought against the Smiths.

The couple, representing themselves, oppose the application and want the injunction set aside.

Relevant

Linda Smith told Justice O’Connor yesterday that information relevant to the injunction was withheld from the court during the injunction proceedings, and that perjury was committed when the case was before the Circuit Court.

She said she was assaulted when attempts were made to take possession of the property on behalf of the bank.

Earlier her husband was removed from the court by gardaí after he refused on several occasions to answer questions from the judge as to whether he would abide by the court order, and instead insisted that the judge answer his questions.

At one stage the judge warned Smith not to threaten him. However, Smith denied that he had threatened the judge.

During the Garda intervention, several supporters of the Smiths shouted and roared at the judge.

KBC, whose counsel said it does not want to see the couple jailed but has no choice other than to bring proceedings where there is a clear breach of a court order, denies the couple’s claims.

Justice O’Connor, seeking to restore calm, adjourned the matter to next week to allow Linda Smith obtain legal advice on what was a most serious matter.

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Aodhan O Faolain

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