Eviction activist in stud farm case is freed from custody
A MAN behind an anti-eviction group has been released from custody by the High Court after promising not to interfere with a receiver's repossession of a stud farm.
Last September, Charlie Allen, of the Rodolphus Allen Private Family Trust, was brought before the court to answer claims that he is in contempt of orders not to trespass on or interfere with 120 acres of land at Kennycourt Stud, near Naas, Co Kildare.
Receivers appointed over the farm alleged that in late August Mr Allen was part of a mob that forced the receiver's agents off the lands and illegally occupied the stud farm, which is owned by Eugene McDermott.
The receivers, Mark Reynolds and Glenn Crann, were put off the property for several weeks before retaking possession in late September. As a result, they brought proceedings alleging contempt against Mr Allen.
On foot of the warrant, Mr Allen was arrested by the gardai in Cork on Monday and brought before Mr Justice Sean Ryan yesterday.
It is understood that Mr Allen denies being in contempt.
Yesterday, during the brief hearing, the judge said he was prepared to release Mr Allen from custody if he was prepared to give an undertaking not to trespass or interfere with the lands.
Mr Allen said he was prepared to give undertakings not to trespass or interfere with the lands in question.
Rory Mulchahy, counsel for the receivers, said it was their case that Mr Allen had led "a mob" that had put the receivers' agents off the lands and that he had breached court orders previously obtained by Mr Mulcahy's clients in March 2012.
Counsel said Mr McDermott had purged his contempt over the same matter earlier this month.
Another person accused of contempt, political activist Ben Gilroy, had "effectively pointed the finger at Mr Allen" by telling the High Court last week that he had been invited onto the lands by Mr Allen, counsel said.
Mr Allen, counsel continued, had claimed to be the owner of the property through an entity known as the Rodolphus Allen Private Family Trust.
Any claim that the lands are owned by a purported trust was "not a proper proposition," counsel added.
Mr Allen, with an address at Inistioge, Co Kilkenny, expressed concerns about the case going ahead.
Mr Justice Ryan said he had concerns about Mr Allen being in custody and not having time to consult with his lawyers.
The judge, who accepted that the urgency was now gone out of the matter, adjourned the matter to January 21 next, when the connected proceedings against Mr Gilroy, who also denies being in contempt of court, are due to be heard.
The judge said he hoped that a full hearing of the case would take place on that date.