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Controversial Roscommon farm still occupied by several persons, bank claims

The occupation of the property is in direct defiance of orders previously granted by the High Court in favour of KBC.

File photo of a fire at the property in December 2018.
File photo of a fire at the property in December 2018.

SEVERAL PERSONS OCCUPYING a Co Roscommon farm, which was the scene of a controversial eviction in 2018, remain on the property, the High Court has heard.

The occupation of the property at Falsk, Strokestown in Co Roscommon is in direct defiance of orders previously granted by the High Court in favour of KBC.

The farm has been the subject of lengthy proceedings involving siblings Anthony, David, and Geraldine McGann, and KBC Bank, which secured orders allowing it repossess the property.

Last month the siblings were brought before the Court following their arrest by Gardaí to answer claims that they were in contempt of an order directing them to leave the property.

The three were released after they gave undertakings to leave their home, and remove their livestock from the farm, which they did.

However, KBC returned to court late last week claiming that it was unable to secure possession of the property due to the presence of other individuals on the farm.

Justice Leonie Reynolds warned that any person occupying the property after 6pm last Sunday, 1 November last could find themselves being jailed for contempt.

When the matter was mentioned before the High Court on Tuesday Justice Reynolds was informed that despite the courts’ deadline the property remained occupied by several individuals.

The bank remains unable to take possession of the farm, the court heard.

On being informed that the farm had not been vacated Justice Reynolds said she was prepared to hear KBC’s application to have those currently occupying the property attached and committed to prison for contempt.

The application will be considered by the court on Friday, the judge said.

KBC Bank obtained a possession order in respect of the farm several years ago arising out of a €431,000 debt on the property from a loan to its registered owner Michael Anthony McGann.

The McGanns were evicted in 2018 but the house was later the scene of an attack on security men employed to secure it.

The security men were forced from the property by a group of masked men and a number of vehicles were burnt.

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The McGanns, who were not involved in the incidents, returned to the house and the bank then sought to have them jailed for contempt of court orders by failing to vacate.

They were again ordered by the court to leave last March, which KBC claimed they failed to do.

Due to the pandemic, KBC did not immediately return to court.

Last month the trio were brought before Ms Justice Reynolds to answer their alleged contempt. They were released after giving sworn undertakings to comply with the court orders.

The matter returned before the courts on two subsequent occasions, however, the McGanns, believed to be staying at one of two other properties connected to them, did not appear.

Their case, as well as the application against the person currently in occupation of the farm, will return before the court later this week.

About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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