KBC issues proceedings against McGann family in Roscommon

Gang removed security men who had occupied house after residents were evicted

A burned out vehicle outside the house at Falsk, near Strokestown, Co Roscommon. Photograph: Peter Murtagh

A burned out vehicle outside the house at Falsk, near Strokestown, Co Roscommon. Photograph: Peter Murtagh

 

KBC Bank has issued High Court proceedings against the Co Roscommon family at the centre of a controversial eviction last year.

The McGann family returned to their home at Falsk near Strokestown after a gang violently removed security men who had occupied the house after the residents had been evicted.

The bank’s Dublin headquarters and two of its branches were subjected to arson attacks late last year in what were interpreted at the time as being responses to the events outside Strokestown.

On Tuesday, the bank lodged High Court proceedings against Michael Anthony, David and Geraldine McGann, as well as “persons unknown occupying premises at Falsk, Strokestown, Co Roscommon.”

The bank took possession of the property in December after almost a decade of failed attempts to secure the payment of a debt owed by Michael Anthony McGann.

The eviction gained national media attention after family members were videoed being removed from the premises by private security operatives.

A few days later, a gang attacked the house at night, assaulted some of the security guards that were staying there, set a number of vehicles alight and killed a dog.

Members of the family, who have condemned the violence and asked that people refrain from illegal actions, later moved back into the house. The attack on the security guards is the subject of an ongoing criminal inquiry.

Earlier this year, David McGann issued proceedings against a number of parties, including KBC,

Mr McGann is seeking various orders and declarations from the court including an order preventing any party from taking possession of the Co Roscommon property.

He is also seeking damages and a declaration that three firms allegedly involved in the security business acted without lawful authority in attempting to gain entry to the property on foot of execution orders for possession dated August 8th and September 4th, 2018.

High Court records show that KBC lodged proceedings against Michael Anthony McGann over his unpaid debt in July 2009, and that a possession order was first awarded in the case in 2013. The size of the debt is understood to be in excess of €300,000.

Attempts by the bank over the years to negotiate a solution were unsuccessful. The seizure of the property in December occurred after the family had been given notice.

Land registry files show that Michael Anthony McGann has a number of unpaid debts with a variety of financial institutions going back years. The judgment orders registered against his Co Roscommon lands include one by a Bank of Ireland subsidiary that provides finance for the purchase of Land Rovers.

Mr McGann, who it is understood farms approximately 100 acres, agreed a settlement with the Revenue Commissioners in 2015 for unpaid VAT, interest and penalties, with the total being €429,501.