Allen gets chance to justify the trust placed in him

Charles Allen Snr has spent most of this year dodging questions, but this morning he will be required to provide answers.

Mr Allen after being arrested at Lotamore House, Tivoli, Cork, yesterday. Pic: Des Barry

He was arrested yesterday in Lotamore in Cork and spent last night in custody.

This morning he will be brought to the High Court in Dublin to respond to a bench warrant that has been outstanding since late September.

Today’s hearing will give him the opportunity to explain how he thinks he can help thousands of people defeat their mortgages by moving properties into a trust that shares the ideological language of the freeman of the land movement.

This summer, at least 2,000 people believed enough in his strategy to sign their properties into his Rodolphus Allen Private Family Trust.

In August, Mr Allen, a landscape gardener in Kilkenny, already estimated that €2bn of assets had been placed into the trust.

A month later, he threatened receivers, banks and auctioneers with damage claims in excess of €100m if they continued to lay claim to the properties in question.

However, many of the properties that were signed in have been sold despite his actions.

Recently, High Court judge Peter Kelly described the correspondence from the trust as “nonsense”.

This was after it had been used in an attempt to thwart the receivership of the Submarine Bar and Ashleaf shopping centre in Dublin, which were linked to €51m worth of debt.

When Mr Allen was previously confronted by this newspaper in Newry, he said his activities were nobody’s business and nor was his status as a fugitive.

He refused to say what his strategy was, even when he brought a barrister from England to discuss his situation.

Despite the trust’s apparently legal foundation, its founding documents, obtained by this newspaper, showed that it was based on spiritual ideals.

Its affirmation document included a commitment to try to “identify, engage, and fulfil our true purpose on this planet, as unique fragments of Divine Consciousness, in our eternal spiritual quest for self-realisation”.

It has been quizzed about when it would lay its cards on the table.

But the trust told participants it could not initiate a court action itself, because this would undermine its status, but it would instead wait to be summonsed and would reveal its tactics at that point.

When this newspaper eavesdropped on a signing-in session in Wicklow, Mr Allen told debtors he would not explain his logic but, if people were unsure, they were better advised to stay away.

However, rather than respond to legal challenges when they subsequently arose, Mr Allen has instead opted to organise protests which have been described as mob-like by two High Court judges.

The first involved a colourful motorcade, led by a supporter with a con-saw, which ousted receivers from the Kennyscourt stud farm in Kildare. Later he attempted to thwart the fire-sale of 11 houses from an unfinished development in Monaghan. In neither case did the trust succeed in disrupting the sale.

Now that he is in custody he will be given the opportunity to justify the trust people have placed in him and his organisation.

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