Thursday 14 December 2017

Gardai in dawn raids on homes of church trustees

Tim Healy

GARDAI were involved in dawn raids on the homes of trustees of a church to enforce High Court attachment orders on properties in a case involving unpaid debts of €18m.

Details of the raids emerged when a judge directed officers to bring the trustees of the Victory Christian Fellowship before the court for blocking efforts to take possession of properties linked to the loans.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan made the order after hearing there was an organised campaign to prevent the receivers from taking possession of premises at Kilmacud House, Kilmacud Road, Upper Stillorgan, Co Dublin; Westland Row and Firhouse Road, Tallaght.

Yesterday, the judge was told that the trustees' current whereabouts are unknown to gardai.

The trustees were named in court as Brendan Hade, his wife Sheila, and Gerry Byrne.

The receivers, chartered accountants Paul McCann and Patrick Dillon, were appointed last month over the properties by Bank of Scotland after there was a failure to satisfy a demand for €18m in respect of unpaid loans.

However, since then they have been prevented from gaining access to the buildings.

Last month, the receivers obtained temporary injunctions against the trustees and two of the Hades's sons, Niall and Brian, requiring them to hand over possession of the premises to the receivers.

The Hade sons yesterday gave undertakings to comply with the court orders.

The receivers claim the court's orders have been ignored by the three trustees who, along with several unnamed people, have continued to blockade and prevent them from gaining possession of the properties.

Last week the court granted orders that the defendants be brought before the court for alleged contempt of court.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Gilligan heard gardai were unable to locate either Brendan and Sheila Hade, of Fountain Head, Rockbrook, Rathfarnham, Dublin, or Mr Byrne, of Woodstown, Knocklyon, Dublin.


They were not at their homes or at any of the three premises at the centre of the case.

In order to enforce the attachment orders made by the High Court last week, gardai had to force entry into both the Hades's and Mr Byrne's homes shortly before 6am yesterday.

Mr Justice Gilligan directed the gardai to use "every reasonable resource at their disposal" to locate the trustees, who he said are "at large".

The matter was adjourned to tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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