Monday 26 August 2019

Bank to seek injunction on farm at centre of eviction row

House: The McGann family moved back in to the Falsk premises
House: The McGann family moved back in to the Falsk premises
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

KBC Bank is expected to seek an injunction today requiring the family at the centre of the Co Roscommon eviction controversy to leave their farm.

The bank is seeking to reassert its right to the property after efforts to secure possession of it were thwarted by a vigilante attack on security guards last year.

In the aftermath of the attack, members of the evicted McGann family returned to the farmhouse at Falsk, near Strokestown, and have remained there since.

There is no suggestion they were involved in any way in the incident.

The injunction application is being brought in the High Court against Anthony McGann, his siblings David and Geraldine, and "persons unknown".

The bank wants them to vacate the property.

However, the application is expected to be resisted by the McGanns.

David and Geraldine McGann are being represented in the injunction proceedings by law firm Carter Anhold, while it appears Anthony McGann is representing himself.

David McGann has also initiated separate proceedings aimed at preventing any party from taking possession of or interfering with the property.

His action is against KBC and a number of entities he alleges are agents for the bank.

He is seeking a declaration the defendants' actions were unlawful, and breached his rights under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

He is also seeking damages and aggravated and exemplary damages for alleged trespass, breach of his constitutional right to private property and defamation.

The two cases could now be consolidated into one by the court.

KBC said that while it does not comment on individual cases, the repossession of an occupied property was always a last resort.

The McGanns were evicted from the farm on December 11 last year after KBC secured a possession order from the High Court over a substantial debt owed by Anthony McGann, the registered owner of the property.

The eviction proved to be hugely controversial after a video posted online showed distressing scenes as the occupants were wrestled by security men.

Five days later a large group of masked men arrived at the property with baseball bats and attacked the security guards.

Three of the guards ended up being hospitalised and a dog had to be put down after sustaining injuries.

Several vehicles were also set on fire during the incident.

In a statement after the eviction, the family said they condemned all forms of violence and wanted to see the rule of law upheld.

The injunction application is the latest twist in the bank's dealings with the McGanns.

KBC had previously been involved in protracted legal proceedings against Anthony McGann, dating back to 2009, and was granted a possession order for the Falsk property last August.

The bank was one of several lenders owed money by Mr McGann.

Irish Independent

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