Saturday 21 October 2017

Some 271 people facing repossession in just one court sitting in Donegal court

Some 271 people facing repossession in just one court sitting in Donegal court
Some 271 people facing repossession in just one court sitting in Donegal court

Greg Harkin

A COUSIN of TV pundit Eamon Dunphy was among 271 people facing repossession orders before a county registrar in one of the largest ever listings of cases before the courts.

It took Donegal’s county registrar Geraldine O’Connor two hours and 29 minutes just to do a ‘call over’ of the motions list at Letterkenny court house.

Just two repossessions were granted by the time Ms O’Connor adjourned hearings at 6.20pm last night.

Eamon Dunphy, the cousin of the TV pundit with the same name, became involved in a heated debate with Kevin McElhinney, a solicitor acting for Permanent TSB.

Mr Dunphy, originally from Dublin, once ran a successful pub in Buncrana.

He took exception to an insistence from Mr McElhinney, that the case against him involved a buy-to-let property.

“It is not a buy-to-let,” Mr Dunphy told Registrar O’Connor.

“I live there. I’ve been registered to vote there for the past ten years if anyone bothered to check.”

Mr Dunphy sat in court until it was adjourned but his case, one of 82 listed as ready for hearing, wasn’t called.

Just two repossession orders were granted, one for a site in Culdaff and the other for a buy-to-rent property in the village of Muff.

Ten cases were withdrawn by the banks after agreements were reached with home owners.

In all yesterday 79 cases were brought by Permanent TSB, 33 by Ulster Bank, 54 by EBS and 26 applications by AIB.

There were also 13 repossession cases brought by Bank of Ireland, five by Bank of Scotland, 12 by SpringBoard Mortgages, 17 cases from KBC Bank, two from Haven mortgages, four from ICS mortgages and three from Start Mortgages (which, according to its website, no longer offers new mortgages).

Two cases were brought by Pepper, agents for Danske Bank (once the Northern Bank).

One young woman fighting a repossession order was so upset, she had to leave the court and was helped as she was physically sick outside the court buildings.

Her husband, she said, now has a job in England and is planning to send money back to pay the mortgage. The court heard the couple hadn’t made any mortgage payments since Christmas 2013.

Kieran O’Gorman, a solicitor acting for a couple with six young children, told the Registrar the cases before the court were just the beginning of hundreds of cases.

“I don’t know when they are all going to be heard,” he said.

“There are more than 80 cases listed to be heard today and there are hundreds more coming down the line.”

The Registrar had time to hear just seven cases. Adjournments were granted in five cases with just two repossessions.

All the other cases were then adjourned until June 17.

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