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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Charlie Allen apologises for protest at stud farm

A MAN behind an anti-eviction campaign group has agreed before the High Court not to interfere again with two separate property repossessions.

Charlie Allen, of the Rodolphus Allen Private Family Trust which has claimed an interest in the two properties, yesterday purged his contempt and apologised in relation to a protest at one of them, a stud farm in Kildare.

He also agreed to abide by an injunction preventing him from interfering with a receiver who is about to sell another property in Cork city.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan said he would not impose a penalty for the contempt but he must also pay the costs of the receivers in both cases.

The judge told his lawyer there was nothing to justify Mr Allen "purporting to claim an interest" in the Cork property.

Mr Allen's organisation had issued two notices in relation to the Cork property, Lotamore House in Tivoli, one described as "a notice of fraud and barratry" and the other called a "notice of dishonour", the court heard.

These notices were described by Rossa Fanning BL, for the receiver, as "legally incomprehensible" and impossible to defend.

Mr Justice Ryan rejected an application from Mr Allen's counsel Gabriel Haughton not to impose the costs of the injunction on his client because the receiver should have informed the proposed purchaser of Lotamore House of the Allen notices and the contract of sale may not have been signed. 

The receiver would then not have had to seek the injunction, counsel said.

The judge said had the receiver done that, the sale may not have gone ahead which appeared to be the purpose of these notices. 

They (notices) may be served to give "some colourable justification" to unlawful trespass but it should be perfectly obvious, to lawyers or otherwise, that they did not convince anybody, he said.

It may also be the notices were being used to intimidate people into believing there was some justification for acting on them, he said.

The application for costs was "utterly irresistible" but he said he would not "ramp up" the level of costs as requested through the "indignation" of Mr Fanning.

The court heard on Wednesday that hours after being released by the judge from custody last Tuesday, in relation to contempt over the Kildare stud farm repossession, Mr Allen had turned up at Lotamore House and told security men to be off the site by the next day.

Earlier today, Mr Allen apologised to the judge for his contempt over the studfarm and undertook to abide by court orders not to interfere with the receivers of the farm at Kennycourt, near Naas.

His counsel, Mr Haughton, said his client had only got legal advice yesterday and was now prepared to purge his contempt.

When Mr Allen got into the witness box to give the undertaking, he said he was "not aware" when asked by his counsel if he knew why he was before the court and of the orders that had been made in relation to the stud farm.

Mr Justice Ryan intervened to say if somebody was coming in to court to purge their contempt, as had been indicated, it was usual to say

they knew "what I was doing and it will not happen again".   He wanted that to be clear and it was "better that we do not talk in riddles".

Mr Allen then told the judge he was apologising and would abide by court orders.

Mr Justice Ryan said Mr Allen had frustrated or attempted to frustrate the receiver in a manner that was wholly unacceptable, shocking, unlawful and wouldn't be be tolerated, he said.

He was taking into account that Mr Allen had now got legal advice, had "seen the error of his ways" and was apologising.

The judge said he now regarded the matter as closed and he vacated a date on January 21 next which he had fixed earlier this week for the hearing of the contempt matter.

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