Protesters force cancellation of property auction
A PROPERTY auction was cancelled after members of the Land League organisation carried out a "peaceful protest" ahead of a sale of what they described as "mostly distressed properties".
Jerry Beades, founder of the organisation, said last night that they decided to intervene in yesterday's planned property sale by Ganly Walters in Dublin, as the auctioneers had not granted them a meeting prior to the sale to discuss a number of the properties.
Mr Beades said that 150 members of the group "decided to pay them a visit" after they "failed to cooperate", and had paid to enter the auction before some "pushing and shoving" broke out.
"We turned up at 9.30am. The gardai were called, and the hotel had a problem because so many people were there," he told the Irish Independent.
"A lot of people registered to go into the auction and then Ganly's realised there were more protesters than people to buy.
"Eventually, after a few heated exchanges, Ganly's wouldn't call off the auction. The hotel management cancelled the auction on health and safety grounds."
A spokesman from Ganly Walters said that they had not refused to meet the group, but that this meeting had not taken place as "one of our partners was on holidays".
He said that there were 50 protesters present at the Bewley's Hotel at Newland's Cross yesterday morning, and that it was the hotel management's decision to cancel the auction "on the basis of health and safety".
It is understood that there were at least 44 lots due to go under the hammer yesterday.
Mr Beades, a well-known former developer, said that he was pleased with how the "peaceful protest went", and insisted that everyone was "well behaved", despite admitting that there was "bit of pushing and shoving, but there was no nasty scenes".
However, one witness to incident described it as "rather unpleasant".
Independent TD Mattie McGrath was also present at the scene yesterday but could not be reached for comment last night.
The Land League was established in April this year to support families or homeowners who are being threatened with eviction.