Gardaí discover shotgun at site of trust leader arrest

Charlie Allen at the Four Courts in Dublin yesterday, where orders were handed down against him obstructing the receiver at Lotamore House in Cork. Pic: Collins Courts

Gardaí found a shotgun at the property where repossession action group leader Charlie Allen was arrested last Monday.

Mr Allen, who was released on Tuesday by a court over alleged contempt, turned up hours later at the premises in Cork, where another protest against repossession had been organised, a judge was told yesterday.

Mr Allen, of the Rodolphus Allen Private Family Trust organisation, had told security men employed to protect the premises at Tivoli in Cork City they “better be out of here by tomorrow”, the High Court heard when it granted orders preventing him and others from interfering with a receiver over the property.

Mr Allen had just been released from custody earlier on Tuesday by Mr Justice Sean Ryan after he promised not to interfere with a receiver’s repossession of a stud farm in Kildare where there had been another protest.

Yesterday, Rossa Fanning BL told the judge the premises in Tivoli, known as Lotamore House, was owned by Sidney McElhinney Properties Ltd and had been taken over by receiver, David Carson, who was in the process of selling it for €650,000 to a doctor who wants to develop it as a clinic.

On Monday, a group of people who counsel said were believed to be led by Mr Allen, turned up and occupied the premises. A caravan also appeared on the site.

The contract for sale of the property is due to close tomorrow and the receiver is concerned the purchaser will move to rescind because he will not have promised vacant possession, counsel said.

In affidavits from the receiver and a security man brought in to protect the property, counsel said, two firearms were spotted in the caravan through a window.

When the Garda Emergency Response Unit was called, it recovered a single shotgun, although two men who had been there earlier ran away before gardaí arrived.

Two men working on repairing an outhouse at the property were challenged by a security man and said they had nothing to do with Mr Allen, but it was later discovered they had not been brought in by the receiver. A solid fuel burner had also been installed in one of the outhouses.

A group of people turned up on Tuesday at lunchtime saying they were part of the Allen organisation. They broke down a fence which had been erected to protect the property.

On Tuesday, a man in a Volvo car arrived accompanied by Mr Allen who told the security men they “better be out of here by tomorrow” before giving food to some other people who were still on the site.

Mr Justice Ryan granted orders restraining Mr Allen and Sidney McElhinney Properties from impeding or obstructing the receiver from taking possession of Lotamore House.

The matter will come before the court again tomorrow afternoon.

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