Arrest made in Mayo over attack after Roscommon eviction

Man (54) is being held as part of investigation into gang attack on security guards in Strokestown

Burnt out vans and cars in the yard of the house that  was the scene of an eviction in Strokestown, Co Roscommon. Photograph: Brian Farrell

Burnt out vans and cars in the yard of the house that was the scene of an eviction in Strokestown, Co Roscommon. Photograph: Brian Farrell

 

A man has been arrested in Co Mayo as part of an investigation into the attack on a home at Falsk near Strokestown, Co Roscommon, in December.

The man (54) was arrested in Co Mayo on Thursday morning in connection with the attack at the Roscommon home on Sunday, December 16th, following the eviction of the McGann family.

The man is being detained at Castlerea Garda station under Section 30 - Offences Against the State Act 1939 as amended. The Garda investigation into the incident is continuing.

The McGanns were evicted from their home in Falsk on Wednesday, December 12th. The following Sunday the property was stormed by a gang of up to 20 men who arrived in a cattle truck to the home where they beat the security guards and burned their vans and cars.

The group was armed with baseball bats, and three of the security staff were hospitalised. A dog was killed during the incident.

The next day, the McGanns moved back into the house.

It is believed the attack was carried out by local men, accompanied by people from outside the area who may be linked to Republican Sinn Féin.

The family subsequently issued a statement through Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy saying they condemned all violence.

The eviction of farmer Michael Anthony McGann and his two adult siblings - David and Geraldine - from their home followed a dispute between Mr McGann and KBC bank over a loan in excess of €300,000. The dispute has been before the courts since 2009.

Last August the High Court granted a repossession order and later an order of possession, or eviction, to KBC.

Lawyers acting for David McCann said last week that they were examining whether KBC bank, and the security firm it employed, may have infringed his rights in evicting him in December.

Legal sources say the property now belongs to the bank as it successfully executed a valid possession order.