‘The Violent, Forced Eviction From Our Home Has Left Our Family Shocked’

at

Last night

Via Matt Carthy MEP:

The McGann family from Strokestown, County Roscommon, who were subjected last week to a forced eviction by a Northern Ireland based security firm acting on behalf of KBC Bank, have issued a statement in response to the deeply distressing events they have been forced to endure over recent days:

“Our family has been overwhelmed by the levels of support we have received and we wish to pay special thanks to our neighbours and friends who have greatly helped us during a very traumatic time.

We would also like to pay tribute to the people from across the four corners of Ireland whose sympathy and solidarity has been of great assistance in our time of need and to the people who travelled long distances to stand in solidarity with us.

The forced eviction from our home has left our family shocked by unforeseen events that were thrust upon us. Our ordeal has been further compounded by the inaccurate and ill-informed media coverage of our eviction, and the subsequent events that have occurred.

We wish to make clear we condemn all forms of violence and want to see the rule of law upheld but we have also been deeply upset by the use of inflammatory language that has characterised much of the media reportage.

We believe our plight has been exploited by some wishing to further their own narrow agendas and we were particularly disappointed at comments made today by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil.

His remarks, we believe, are a deliberate attempt to deflect attention from some of the very serious issues relating to our eviction.

He has yet to adequately respond to the actions of unidentified security personnel who forcibly, and with considerable violence, removed our family from our home in front of a massive Garda presence that oversaw the eviction nor has he responded to concerns about the legality of the eviction notice.”

The McGanns have asked the Taoiseach to refrain from making comments that further compound their distress and in conclusion to their statement they say their case is with two firms of solicitors who are now acting on their behalf and that matters relating to their eviction will be heard before the courts in due course.

Meanwhile they appeal for their privacy to be respected as they resume their preparations for Christmas. As this is now a legal matter the McGann family or anybody connected to them will be making no further comments it may be prejudicial to future legal proceedings.

Yesterday: “It Was A Very Highly Organised, Highly Violent, Vigilante Attack”

“It Doesn’t Take Very Long For Your Balaclava To Slip”

Monday: ‘The Family Has Returned Home’

Cause And Effect

Drone pic via RTÉ

UPDATE:

This morning.

Retired history teacher Anna Kavanagh, who has been reporting from Roscommon for the past week, has posted a new video on Facbeook in which she:

Explains how Matt Carthy came to release the statement from the McGann family.

Criticises the Irish Times, top, and other media outlets’ coverage of the matter and says claims that dissident republicans or the IRA were involved in the post-eviction violence last Sunday morning are wrong.

Criticises Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and asks him to step down.

Tells a funny story and asks for a spin to Dublin Airport.

Anna Kavanagh (Facebook)

91 thoughts on “‘The Violent, Forced Eviction From Our Home Has Left Our Family Shocked’

  1. Ollie

    Wrong lender named on this article mccarthy. Back on the gravy train and keep out of legal disagreements

    1. Rep

      The Indo names KBC so is it the wrong lender?

      Also, the Indo says that the owner was informed 7 times about the impending eviction so I’n not entirely sure what was meant by “unforeseen events that were thrust upon us”

      While the Indo is definitely taking the banks side, I would like some actual facts about this because there are lots of conflicting statements being made from both sides which makes it hard to know what to make of it.

      I am at the moment on the fence in that I think both sides are wrong here. Actually, I’ll throw the gardai in there as well as how they just stood there and did nothing when the eviction was happening, I don’t know.

      1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

        Irrespective of the legalities of the eviction, if the allegations/suggestion that ex unionist paramilitaries (or even ex British military) were used by the company to carry out the eviction are true, then all bets are off. IF – that’s true then what do you think is going to happen! Ex UVF (or insert whatever gang of gorillas is correct) etc crossing in to the Republic to carry out a questionable eviction while assisted by our police force. Whether legal or not common sense is supposed to say (at a very high level) you don’t allow this to happen. That actually creates a partial threat to the state itself. Of course you’re going to have civil unrest in certain segments of society – should that prevail – and many would argue rightly so.

        1. Cian

          *If* the eviction was legal (as in there was a valid court order) then the political alignment of the men doing the eviction is totally irrelevant.

          If the eviction was *not* legal (as in there was either no or an invalid court order) then the political alignment of the men doing the eviction is also totally irrelevant.

          When you buy a burger – does the political leaning of the chef matter?

          1. Johnny

            The bank has a responsibility to have in place licensed,professional staff to deal with these situations.A court order for possession is not a pass for criminal activity.
            The bank via its agents engaged in a violent criminal act that luckily was caught on camera,how many other criminal acts have they been involved in, it should have its banking lic suspended.

          2. Worlds Biggest Ranter

            “the political alignment of the men doing the eviction is totally irrelevant”

            I find it hard to respond to this without sounding patronising and insulting. You clearly have no comprehension of the relevance of that statement to many people in this country. If you are of a certain age or from a certain demographic / background then the significance of this is colossal and shouldn’t have been lost on the leader/s of this country. Just turn that on its head for a minute. Do you honestly believe the British state would allow ex IRA members to carry our evictions in mainland Britain! The naivety of your comment is almost palpable in its ignorance. Its also dangerous that perhaps your reasoning, be it your age or your own cultural background, have created a lesser informed attitude in yourself surrounding the delicacies required to bring this country and Northern Ireland to where it is today. They have seemingly been completely misunderstood by yourself for some unknown reason to me.

          3. Friscondo

            This is the crux of the issue. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I find it deeply abhorrent that a crowd of Loyalist thugs would be allowed to operate in any capacity in the state. To make it worse, they had Gardai looking on while they carried out a violent eviction. No way is this acceptable.

          4. Col

            @WBR
            I think terminology is important here.
            IRA is an illegal terrorist organisation. You can be a loyalist and not involved in crime. If they are convicted loyalist paramilitaries, I agree with you. If they are just “loyalists”, I agree with Cian, it’s irrelevant.

          5. Cian

            If a member of An Garda Siochana happens to be Church of Ireland – should she refrain from arresting anyone from a Catholic background because of what happened in the North? Because “a protestant police officer arresting a catholic” has a unsavoury historical connotations?

            A person’s religious or political leaning should be irrelevant (unless it is affecting their ability to do the job).

          6. Cian

            @Johnny:
            (I’m running with your use of ‘bank’. But AFAIK it wasn’t a bank that evicted these people. KBC sold on the loan.)

            The bank has a responsibility to have in place licensed,professional staff to deal with these situations.
            The borrower has a responsibility to repay his loan.
            The borrower has a responsibility to obey the law, and leave the bank’s property
            The bank has a responsibility to the shareholders.
            The bank has a responsibility to have in place professional staff (unless there is a legal requirement for licenced staff)

            A court order for possession is not a pass for criminal activity.
            Agreed

            The bank via its agents engaged in a violent criminal act that luckily was caught on camera
            What criminal act? I agree there was violence. The occupiers (after ignoring a court order) refused to leave the bank’s land. They were removed from the bank’s land (in accordance with the law). They resisted and in doing so assaulted the bank’s agents, and the bank’s agents defended themselves.

            how many other criminal acts have they been involved in,
            I have no idea, but that is irrelevant

            it should have its banking lic suspended.
            Unless it broke the bank licencing laws (which hasn’t been shown) it should not.

          7. Johnny

            You’re wrong KBC got the order of possession- do you – sorry laughing here – have a LINK Cian to your claim that they sold the loan ?
            Cian the bank engaged in criminal activity, they paid these violent criminals to assault a customer in order to resolve a dispute.

          8. bort

            The political alignment is very f%$kin important to some people. They got away with it in Dublin, only a few students and activists to deal with it. Look what they got in Roscommon! Imagine what they’d get in Donegal, Monaghan or Louth! There’d be a corpse in the morgue.

            I think it’s very relevant!

            Imagine the reception a group of Southern Irish bailiffs would get in Bangor, Lisburn, Ballymena etc.

          9. Cian

            No claim Johnny, I said AFAIK (which means “as far as I know”) – to show it wasn’t a fact but my understanding of the situation.

            However there have been other posters over the last few days saying it was a fund called Cabot that did this. the first comment above is querying the bank.

            https://www.broadsheet.ie/2018/12/18/resent-thy-neighbour/#comment-2046144

            You should also be careful what you write: “they paid these violent criminals to assault a customer in order to resolve a dispute.” is defamation on the bank and on the men involved.

          10. Owen C

            Reporting has varied between Cabot owning the loan and KBC owning the loan. It seems that KBC own the loan but Cabot may be managing the arrears process on their behalf, which is the cause of the confusion. Cabot may also separately be involved in owning some other related debt owed by the McGanns. In fairness, the whole thing is doubly confusing because there seems to be outstanding debts by the McCanns with a number of lenders or claimants.

            https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/roscommon-eviction-farmer-has-unpaid-debts-going-back-years-1.3734439

          11. Owen C

            This article (and several related ones) was particularly confusing for the lay reader. In order, it notes:

            – Cabot secured a mortgage judgement against McGann this year
            – KBC (IIB) had initially lent money to McGann against the property in 2004
            – Cabot bought loans from KBC in 2017

            So people, understandably, put 2+2 together and assumed Cabot owned the original KBC loan. And this obviously fit very nicely with the “vulture funds are terrible people” narrative. Maybe people should fear more experienced (in this sort of thing) vulture funds less than banks?

            https://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/irish-news/revealed-former-owner-of-roscommon-property-has-unpaid-debts-that-stretch-back-almost-a-decade-37634724.html

          12. Lobster

            I don’t really agree with you here. If the nature of your work involves potential violent altercations with members of the public, common sense says at a minimum the organisations involved should be identifiable so that they can be held accountable in case it goes horribly wrong.

        2. Scundered

          We need the facts to emerge first, instead of letting rumour and paranoia take hold, as rumours may push the more gullible in society to join their local furry-face mob, on both sides (and I don’t mean hipsters). Nobody wants another civil war.

        3. Cian

          Hmm… my original reply was lost.

          @Johnny. I didn’t make any claim about the bank, my use of “AFAIK” (which, in case you are not aware, means “as far as I know”) makes this a personal understanding rather than a statement of fact.

          There are many other people querying the owner of the loan.

          Your turn: what “criminal activity” did the bank engage in?

          1. Johnny

            It’s customer dispute resolution department was criminally negligent at least,why have they not issued an apology to the customers they violently assulted ?

  2. Tom

    “Our home”

    That’s 100% the problem. It’s not your home. Somebody else owns it and you forced them to take action by trespassing.

  3. Worlds Biggest Ranter

    Leo’s misjudged comment and involvement in this case was just another arrogant example of his mindset lent from his privileged upbringing and status in society. That he was so quick to condemn one particular party involved in this episode, very RTE style I might add, was reminiscent of his dole spungers narrative from last year. It’s worrying for the general populous that this is what he uses in his mind as the bar. He got the gig because he was seen as a trendy, gay, son of an immigrant. Optically all very progressive and outward looking to the world. Turns out he just the same old, if not worse than whats gone before.

      1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

        As a ‘and finally’ He was clearly taking a primary strike at some of his Dail colleagues.

        1. Rep

          tbf, it was more than what his Dáil colleagues did. If anything, yesterdays proceedings showed how rubbish our public representatives are.

    1. no_socialism

      Yep, gambled the family home and was happy with the capitalist system when he was ready to make money from it

      1. Johnny

        The bank was well aware this customer was problematic internally in states they are called ‘scratch and dent’,as in the loan is scratched and dented or a car crash.

        Numerous options were available to the bank,unleashing a gang of thugs with dogs was not one.

        How many other times has this bank broken the law,is this a pattern of behavior,are they really that incompetent and criminal, that this is how they deal with difficult customers,beat the crap out them ?

          1. Johnny

            How seriously was this option considered and discussed internally-can they truly be this incompetent that engaging and paying a gang of thugs to violently assault customers was approved ?

            Hire professional staff,was there any background criminal investigations done on these agents of the bank~can they be trusted to lawfully conduct business in Ireland?

            Given how they handled this situation,should they be allowed continue….

          2. SOQ

            As previous threads – renegotiation of payment terms because, as of recent events, that farm will never be sold, ever.

            I will make a prediction.That family will live there until they are carried out feet first due to natural causes. Rouse middle Ireland at your peril banks.

    1. b

      Capitalism is violence? guess he shouldn’t have borrowed the money to invest in his business to make profit then

  4. Frank Lee O’Bese

    Spolied 65yr old Irish Times Cosgrave FG brigade still fuming into their croissants and lattés in Avoca, Monkstown.

    More please.

  5. Pat Harding

    If ever I need a reminder of why I care nothing for ‘left-whingers’, all I have to do is read the comment section of Broadsheet.

    Boring, repetitive, annoying, pernicious and irrelevant.

    1. Mickey Twopints

      Reading comments sections is compulsory in your world? My liberal bleeding heart goes out to you, you poor crathur.

    2. Nigel

      Really? I see two sides being argued here and I think it’s pretty good , y’know, for an online comments section.

  6. Trueblueterry

    This is becoming a farce, if you search the case on the Courts.ie website you will see that the case began back in 2009, and the order for possession was first granted in 2013. This individual has had more than a fair opportunity to leave the property and refused to do so, what is suppose to happen when you refuse to leave.

    Also we might want to consider the cold hard facts of the matter aside from conjecture and they are:

    1. People employed by the Bank arrived at the property to enforce a order for possession. The Gardai were informed by these people in advance and were in attendance. Having been there for the entirety of the matter, they did not see any action which they felt warranted an arrest being made. No one was wearing balaclavas and these people were wearing body cameras.

    2. Early in the morning on the Sunday, at least twenty individuals, some or all of who were wearing balaclavas and carrying weapons, attacked the people who were currently at the property and this resulted in at least 3 of them being hospitalised and also burned out vehicles. They road leading to the property was also blocked to prevent either Gardai or fire services getting to the property in a timely manner.

    Based on the undisputed facts of the matter you can boil it down to two simple things, one party informed the Gardai that they were going to the property, the other blocked the road and brought weapons.

    There are far better eviction causes out there to hang your hat on than this one.

    1. Mickey Twopints

      “…they did not see any action which they felt warranted an arrest being made.”

      Perhaps you might consider that aspect in a little more detail.

      1. Trueblueterry

        No arrests were made at the time of the eviction and the Garda Commissioner has stated “These matters are carefully planned and there’s no way any of my personnel would stand aside and watch a violent attack. They would intervene,”. Neither you nor I was at the eviction so we can only rely on the facts of the matter and one simple one is that the Gardai do not intervene at the eviction and you can surmise that this was because they did not see anything that warranted it.

        1. Mickey Twopints

          Have you watched the video? Do you think it’s fake? Do you think those who were injured during the eviction punched themselves in the face?

          1. Trueblueterry

            The video does not show the whole incident, it has been heavily edited and I am more than happy to take the view of the Gardai that were in attendance rather than a snippet of an incident.

            I might also point out that this one Anna says that the people who carried out the attack are not dissident, well if she knows who they are surely she should inform the Gardai.

            Finally, if anyone heard Pearse Doherty on the Newstalk this morning you will know what a shambles he is, can’t give a straight answer to a straight question.

          2. millie st murderlark

            Are you really comfortable taking the word of the Gardaí implicitly? I certainly wouldn’t.

            We’ve had plenty of examples of how they will lie and close ranks to defend the establishment, the government and their own hides in recent years. I’d take their words with a pinch of salt until proven otherwise. They’ve done too little to prove they are trustworthy.

          3. Mickey Twopints

            So, parking your attempt at deflection for a moment, you are taking the word of AGS at face value despite the existence of contrary evidence in the public domain? Do I understand that correctly?

          4. Trueblueterry

            No I am taking the word of the Gardai who were in attendance for the entirety of the eviction over an edited video.

          5. Mickey Twopints

            It’s clearly too much to ask for you to engage your own critical thinking instead of taking anybodys “word” for it?

          6. ollie

            It’s an eviction. You leave or you are made leave. I don’t see the issue after 9 years notice.

            As Trueblueterry said:
            one party informed the Gardai that they were going to the property, the other blocked the road and brought weapons.

          7. Trueblueterry

            Mickey unless you have perfected mind control, do you know of a way of getting someone out of a property when they refuse to leave without using physical force?

  7. postmanpat

    Can I stop paying my mortgage too? I have the money its just that I want to put that monthly money into other investments instead and increase my wealth?

    1. Nigel

      Yes. All that will happen is a forced eviction by heavy-handed bailiffs and a retaliatory riot followed by national scrutiny of your personal finances. At Christmas.

  8. Broadbag

    What’s Anna’s role in all this apart from posting rambling updates on her phone, what’s her agenda? Home owners good, rule of law bad seems to be the general gist of it but what skin has she in the game?

    1. chris

      What’s Broadbag’s role in all this apart from posting rambling updates on broadsheet, what’s his/her agenda?

      1. Broadbag

        The truth, facts, all of which are in short supply here. But now, what’s chris’ role, is he an agent of Anna?

  9. MaryLou's ArmaLite

    Once again SF/IRA types behaving like hypocrites, they don’t see a problem with their own thugs but scream about the injustices of others.

    1. Eoin

      Range Rover or Land Rover? If the latter, which I understand it is, it’s a fairly bog standard farm machine. Yes, in an urban setting, a 4×4 or SUV might be seen as unnecessary excess but on a farm, they earn their pay.

      Portraying a Land Rover as a Range Rover is downright misleading, but then again, it’s par for the course for reporting on this case.

      1. baz

        No farm NEEDS a Range Rover.

        Interesting that you whine about misleading when you ramble in a distorted unfounded attempt to discredit my statement.

  10. Medium Sized C

    Something about shouting “former garda” here makes me uncomfortable.
    Are you only allowed preferential treatment when you have left the gardaí or what’s the craic?

  11. newsjustin

    “The forced eviction from our home has left our family shocked by unforeseen events that were thrust upon us.”

    Really? The eviction was unforeseen? Doubt that somehow.

  12. ____

    Does the farm itself strike anyone as a bit odd?
    Kind of like it’s missing some bits, especially for that size of shed?

    Where do they keep feed?

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