Sunday 25 June 2017

Receivers retake farm owned by former 'Fittest Family' winners

Peter Kingston and his family won the RTÉ show in 2014
Peter Kingston and his family won the RTÉ show in 2014

Ray Managh

Bank-appointed receivers have regained possession of the farm belonging to the former winners of RTÉ show 'Ireland's Fittest Family', the High Court heard.

Last Thursday, receivers Kieran Wallace and David Swinburne of KPMG secured a temporary 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 retaken possession of the farmland, which 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, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, was told yesterday that the receivers had regained possession of the farmland last Friday. Peter Kingston, who represented himself, told the court he was somewhat taken by surprise by the receivers' proceedings as he had been away on a "religious retreat".

But he accepted Judge Kelly's contention the matter had not "come out of the blue" given there had been correspondence with the receivers' lawyers prior to the injunctions being sought.

Mr Kingston said he had gone back onto the land to deal with ragwort growth and to feed animals.

Mr Kingston said he "took exception" to claims made on behalf of the receivers that the farm, which included a thousand head of cattle, was in a poor state and required considerable expense by the bank to rectify.

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

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

But Mr 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.

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

Irish Independent

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