The five-bed house in Castlepollard in Westmeath Merlin Property
Irish auction

Applause in auction room as woman buys back brother's repossessed home

Orla Mulvey addressed the crowd at yesterday’s Merlin property auction, telling them that she intended to purchase the house built on her father’s land.

THERE WERE EMOTIONAL scenes at the Merlin property auction in Dublin yesterday as a woman announced to potential bidders that she was there to buy back her brother’s house.

Orla Mulvey stood and made a speech at the end of the auction at the Radisson Blu hotel, telling those in attendance that the five-bed detached house in Castlepollard in Co. Westmeath had been built on her father’s land, and that it had been repossessed when her brother was unable to make payments on it.

The house, which would have been worth around €300,000 at the height of the boom, was eventually bought by Ms Mulvey yesterday after she beat out two other bidders.

Property expert Carol Tallon, who was at yesterday’s auction, told The John Murray Show on RTÉ Radio One this morning that Mulvey made a speech in advance of the lot, explaining potential problems with access and water supply to the land if it was bought by another bidder.

Tallon said that these problems were not highlighted in a threatening way, but rather praised Mulvey’s dignity and described the feeling of ‘goodwill’ in the room.

She described how one bidder dropped out quite early, leaving just Mulvey and one other potential buyer at the back of the room. Mulvey turned to face the bidder as the sale progressed and eventually secured the property for €76,000.

The room erupted into applause as her final bid was accepted.

The house had been remortgaged with a sub-prime lender and the owners had made an attempt to buy it back directly from the lenders for €20,000 after it was seized, but this offer was rejected.

Ms Mulvey had told the gathered crowd at yesterday’s auction that the house rightfully belonged to her family.

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