Wednesday 21 February 2018

Judge orders arrest of man behind €2bn assets trust

Charles Allen
Charles Allen

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

A BENCH warrant has been issued for the arrest of a man who along with a number of others is alleged to have trespassed on and illegally occupied a stud farm.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan yesterday ruled that Charles Allen should be arrested and brought before the High Court.

He must answer claims that he is in contempt of court orders in respect of 120 acres of land at Kennycourt Stud, Naas, Co Kildare.

Landscape gardener Mr Allen is a leading figure behind the Rodolphus Allen Family Private Trust, a group set up with the aim of putting assets beyond the reach of banks seeking repossession.

The trust claims to have €2bn worth of property, including homes, farms and businesses. People who sign up to the trust lease the property back from it for a nominal sum, thereby giving them the use of the asset.

However, legal experts have warned that the trust is unlikely to succeeded in preventing repossessions.

In proceedings brought by joint receivers appointed over Kennycourt Stud in 2011, it is claimed that Mr Allen, along with stud-farm owner Eugene McDermott and anti-eviction activist Ben Gilroy, have breached orders not to trespass or interfere with the receivership.

Receivers Mark Reynolds and Glenn Crann claim that all three are involved with "a mob" who last month forced the receivers' agents off the stud farm.

The receivers were kept off the property, which they want to sell, until Wednesday of this week when they retook possession.

Two weeks ago, the High Court ordered that Mr Gilroy and Mr McDermott be arrested and brought before the bench to answer their alleged contempt. Those warrants have yet to be executed.

A similar application in respect of Mr Allen was adjourned to yesterday's sitting of the court to allow the receivers' lawyers to serve him with legal papers about the case.

Last Monday, Mr Allen was personally served with all the relevant legal documentation at a Co Wexford hotel, the court heard.

Barrister for the receivers, Michael Howard, said the action arose after a mob of more than 100 people led by Mr Allen and Mr Gilroy took possession of the stud farm on August 31.

Mr Allen, he said, was photographed cutting locks placed by the receivers' security staff on gates at the stud farm.

FABRICATION

Counsel said Mr Allen stated that the farm was now the property of the Rodolphus Allen Family Private Trust. He told the court the trust was a "legal fabrication" that granted signatories a 999-year lease over the same properties.

Mr Gilroy, of Navan, Co Meath, a candidate in last March's Meath East by-election; Mr Allen, with addresses at Thomastown and Inistioge, Co Kilkenny; and Mr McDermott, of Kennycourt Stud, have not attended court since the action was initiated by the receivers.

Mr Justice Ryan said there was no question in his mind that Mr Allen had been served with the relevant legal documentation.

He said he was also satisfied that Mr Allen was aware proceedings had been brought against him by the receivers.

The judge ordered that Mr Allen be arrested and brought before the court to answer the claim that he has breached court orders.

Irish Independent

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