Strokestown eviction: KBC Bank tries to secure order that may see siblings jailed

Strokestown eviction: KBC Bank tries to secure order that may see siblings jailed
The scene at Strokestown in 2018, around the time of the attempted eviction.

KBC bank has opened proceedings against members of a Co Roscommon family over their alleged failure to comply with a High Court order to vacate a farm that was the centre of a controversial eviction.

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds was told on Friday by Rossa Fanning SC that the bank wants to bring a motion seeking the attachment and committal of siblings Michael Anthony, David and Geraldine McGann.

KBC claims the McCanns have not complied with a court order directing them to vacate their family home at Falsk, near Strokestown in Co Roscommon.

Last October KBC bank secured an injunction the family until noon on Tuesday, November 12 to leave and cease trespassing on the property.

However KBC claims the McGanns have not complied with the order and remain on the property.

The prospect of jail

The bank wants to bring a motion that could result in the McGanns being jailed for an alleged contempt of court.

Ms Justice Reynolds adjourned the matter to early next week after being informed that another related matter, where lawyers for David and Geraldine McGann are seeking to come off record, is due to be heard.

The two matters are to be considered by the court on the same day the judge said.

KBC secured the injunction last year after Mr Justice Senan Allen ruled the McGanns had no entitlement to be on the property.

There was no legal basis for them to remain on the property, he added. He also held that the bank had obtained and executed a valid possession order over the property, and that the McGanns are trespassers on the property.

KBC sought the injunction after it obtained an order allowing it to execute the possession order over the property.

KBC's injunction application was opposed by the McGanns.

Lawyers for Geraldine, who the court heard occasionally stays at the house and David McGann who has lived in the property all his life had argued that the order should be refused.

Michael Anthony McGann, who also lives at the property, was not present in court nor represented during the hearing.

Private security operatives and masked men

The case centers around events in December 2018 when the McGann family were evicted from the farm on foot of a repossession order KBC obtained in respect of the property several years ago.

The eviction gained national media attention after private security operatives were forced from the property by a group of masked men.

Gardaí subsequently launched an investigation after the security personnel were attacked, several of whom required medical treatment, several vehicles were burnt and a dog had to be put down due to injuries it sustained.

The McGanns, who were not involved in those incidents, subsequently returned to the property and have remained there since.

The property was the subject of a loan agreement between KBC and the farm's registered owner Mr Michael Anthony McGann.

He fell into arrears on repayments and owed the bank some €431,000. KBC obtained a possession order in respect of the property in 2012, which was not appealed.

The last repayment on the loan to KBC was made by the borrower in February 2014, it was claimed.

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