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Receivers regain possession of farm belonging to former Ireland's Fittest Family winners

ACC Loan Management is owed €2.4 million by Peter and Tracey Kingston.

BANK-APPOINTED RECEIVERS HAVE regained possession of the farm belonging to former winners of RTÉ’s Ireland’s Fittest Family programme, the High Court heard today.

Last Thursday, receivers Kieran Wallace and David Swinburne of KPMG secured a temporary High Court injunction against Peter Kingston, his wife Tracey and their son Richard, in respect of their 170-acre farm at Crayden Hill, Nohoval, Co Cork.

The injunctions had been sought after the receivers claimed the Kingstons had earlier this month unlawfully re-taken possession of the farmland the receivers had taken charge of last December.

The retaking of the farmland was something the Kingstons, who won the RTÉ television programme in 2014, were not entitled to do and they were now trespassing, it was claimed.

High Court President, Justice Peter Kelly, was told today the receivers regained possession of the farmland last Friday.

Barrister Stephen B Byrne, counsel for the receivers, who were appointed by ACC Loan Management, told Justice Kelly the receivers regained possession of the farm and the injunction is now being complied with.

Peter Kingston, who represented himself, told the court he was somewhat taken by surprise by the proceedings as he had been away on a “religious retreat”, but accepted Judge Kelly’s contention that the matter had not “come out of the blue”, given there had been correspondence with the receivers’ lawyers prior to the injunctions being sought.

Cattle dying 

Kingston said he had gone back to the land to deal with ragwort growth and to feed animals. He said he “took exception” to claims made on behalf of the receivers that the farm, which included 1,000 cattle, was in a poor state of affairs and required considerable expense by the bank to rectify.

He said 11 cattle died in the six months prior to him handing over possession of the land last December, but since the receivers had taken charge 200 have died.

Byrne told the court that any suggestion the farm was not in a poor state when the receivers took possession last year would be “hotly contested” by his clients.

Justice Kelly agreed to adjourn the case for two weeks with the injunction to remain in place against all parties. This was to allow Kingston prepare a sworn statement in response to the receivers’ claims.

ACC Loan Management, which is owed €2.4 million by Peter and Tracey Kingston arising out of two mortgage agreements the parties had entered into almost 10 years ago, claims the farmland had been put up as security.

The Kingston’s farm was at the centre of related High Court proceedings in April this year when Cork County Sheriff, Sinéad McNamara, who was in the process of selling the Kingstons herd of 1,000 cattle, secured injunctions against businessman Jerry Beades and his New Land League group.

It was claimed Beades and members of his group had engaged in protests over the proposed sale of the herd and McNamara was granted an injunction preventing anyone interfering with the auction.

Comments are closed as the case is before the courts. 

Read: “It’s like the day after a funeral” – Ireland’s Fittest Family farmer laments sale of herd of 1,000 cattle by bank

Read: Former Ireland’s Fittest Family winners ordered to hand over Cork farm

Aodhan O Faolain