Farmer avoids jail for halting receiver

A Co Kildare farmer has avoided being jailed a second time for contempt after undertaking before the High Court to comply with orders to hand over vacant possession of farm buildings on his property to a bank appointed receiver.

Paul O’Shea, of Davidstown, Castledermot, Co Kildare, was told by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan he had 21 days to hand over vacant possession and could apply later for an order restraining sale of the relevant buildings, and certain lands, pending a full hearing of the dispute between himself and the receiver.

Mr O’Shea was before the court over alleged contempt of an order granted last December compelling him hand over possession of the buildings to George Maloney, appointed by Danske Bank in 2012 as receiver over two fields totalling 31 hectares owned by Mr O’Shea put up as security on a 2003 loan. Default on that loan lead to the bank getting judgment for €1.29m against Mr O’Shea.

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When Mr O’Shea said there was a lease on the buildings and he could not remove the property of the leaseholder from the buildings, the judge noted Mr O’Shea was not entitled to enter into a lease without prior written consent of Danske Bank and there was no such consent.

John Gleeson, counsel for the bank, said Mr O’Shea was not being “candid” with the court concerning the lease issue. The leaseholder was a company and two directors of that company, based in the North, previously gave an undertaking to the court but later resigned and were replaced by two other directors, also resident in the North, he said.

The judge said the receiver was legally entitled to remove the goods at issue if the owner of those goods refused to remove them.

Mr Maloney had sought Mr O’Shea’s committal to prison over his ongoing refusal to obey the orders of the court.

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