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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Daragh Brophy

No date for rescheduled property auction after protesters force cancellation

Allsop Space were forced to abandon the event this morning after a handful of demonstrators entered the venue and demanded it be called off.

ORGANISERS OF TODAY’s abandoned ‘distressed property’ auction at the Shelbourne Hotel say they’re unable to confirm any rescheduled date for the sale as yet, after a group of protesters gained entry to the venue this morning and forced its cancellation.

In a statement this evening, Allsop Space said that it will now, “under the instructions of their clients, continue to offer these properties either by public auction or through other means”.

The company was preparing to auction some 120 properties with reserves totalling €12.1 million, when a handful of demonstrators entered the room, shouting slogans and demanding the company call off the event. Other protesters, many of whom said they had lost homes in the crash, gathered outside after they were denied entry.

Several demonstrators - including one former developer – stayed in the building for around an hour, before leaving after being told the gardaí were being called. Jerry Beades, one of the leaders of the protest, said they had decided to leave after organisers “refused to agree to an ultimatum not to hold any more auctions”.

Speaking outside the Shelbourne, campaigner Tom D’Arcy said his Malahide home had been repossessed earlier this year, and that organisers of the protest had been approached by others in the same situation in recent months. He said:

We were asked to see if we could ensure that people were aware of the fact that these are family homes that you are buying… I think sadly a lot of people are not informed about what is happening in this country.

(Youtube: Daragh Brophy)

Three independent TDs – Michael Healy Rae and Tom Fleming (both Kerry South) Mattie McGrath of (Tipperary South) – were in attendance for the protest.

Speaking to, Fleming said he had been there to lend his support to the thousands of people who were being treated unfairly by the banks, and that many householders and small business owners had been treated “in a ruthless fashion” by lenders.

The deputy called on the Government to re-double efforts to introduce “some humanity” to the way banks interact with people in mortgage arrears, saying those in power were underestimating the strength of feeling on the ground on the issue. He added:

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a sort of social revolution, comparable to what we’ve just seen in Egypt. It’s an incredibly volatile situation.

Other protesters said they had travelled from as far away as Cork and Kerry to take part in today’s action, and a truck with slogans like “Brian Cowen: Wanted for Economic Treason” and “Protect People, Not Banks” was parked nearby, next to a van displaying a quote from Charles Stewart Parnell.

The truck parked at St Stephen’s Green, close to the Shelbourne this morning (Image: Daragh Brophy)

A spokesperson for Allsop said they still had no word of a rescheduled date for the auction. In its statement this evening, the company said the auction was abandoned” for reasons of risk to the personal safety of the people attending the event”.

The actions of some people attending were both unlawful and intimidatory, resulting in people being prevented from going about their lawful and necessary business as well as being put at risk of personal harm. This open, transparent and legal auction has taken place on 11 previous occasions when occasional opposition to the auction was both peaceful and law abiding. Today’s events were markedly different resulting in its abandonment.

A rental van, bearing an 1880 quotation from Charles Stewart Parnell parked close to the Shelbourne today

Read: Developer being pursued by Ulster Bank among protest group that halted Allsop auction

Read: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ – Meath man protests auction of family business

Read: Hotels, pubs and shopping centres up for sale in distressed auction

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