Thursday 18 January 2018

Activist among three accused of 'putting receivers off land'

Ben Gilroy: allegedly involved in a mob in land dispute
Ben Gilroy: allegedly involved in a mob in land dispute

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

POLITICAL activist Ben Gilroy is one of three people facing the prospect of imprisonment for breaching court orders by allegedly trespassing and occupying a stud farm.

It is claimed by the joint receivers over lands at Kennycourt Stud, Co Kildare, that Gilroy and Charlie Allen along with the landowner, Eugene McDermott, were involved with "a mob" who forced the receiver's agents off the lands.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern yesterday warned that people were subject to the rule of law and not the rule of the mob and there would be consequences for anyone found to be in deliberate breach of the law.

Receivers Mark Reynolds and Glenn Crann, who were appointed by IBRC in November 2011 over Mr McDermott's lands, intend selling the 120-acre property from which they are currently being excluded. They alleged that since late August the three men were preventing them from taking possession of the lands.

The receivers have brought a motion seeking to have Mr Gilroy, Mr Allen and Mr McDermott brought before the High Court to explain their alleged contempt.

Mr Gilroy, of Navan, Co Meath, who was a Direct Democracy Ireland candidate in the Meath East by-election, Mr Allen, of Inistioge, Co Kilkenny, and Mr McDermott, of Kennycourt Stud, were not in court yesterday.

Judge McGovern said the matters were very serious, and adjourned them to Friday.

Michael Howard SC, counsel for the receivers, said the action arose out of unsavoury scenes when his clients and their staff were threatened.

The court heard that on August 28 a group of eight individuals had tried to force the receivers' security staff off the property but, with the help of gardai, they had been able to take possession.

A few days later a mob of more than 100 people led by Mr Allen and Mr Gilroy had re-taken possession of the lands.

In 2011 Anglo Irish Bank appointed Mr Crann and Mr Reynolds, of Savills Ireland, as receivers over the farm arising out of Mr McDermott's failure to repay €814,000 owed to the bank.

Irish Independent

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