A Co Wexford community has reclaimed a local supermarket after it was repossessed by a security firm acting for receiver Deloitte.
According to the supermarket operator, Corrigan’s Londis in Kilmuckridge was taken over in the early hours of October 5th by men wearing balaclavas who forced their way into the premises and changed the locks.
Hugh Corrigan, who lives near the business, was awoken by the property’s alarm system that rang in his home. Using an Ipad connected to the property’s CCTV, he was able to see the men entering the premises.
Mr Corrigan immediately called the gardaí, but said he was told they had been warned in advance the action was a repossession, not a burglary.
A subsequent protest meeting was held in Kilmuckridge on October 11th. It was attended by anti-eviction groups Right2Homes and members of the New Land League, and addressed by debt campaigner and Senate candidate Jerry Beades.
Following this protest, KTech security once more returned on Monday and began to remove stock from the Londis.
However, after a large crowd assembled and gardaí arrived, KTech’s Kevin McGarry withdrew his staff and locals reclaimed the supermarket for Mr Corrigan.
The supermarket has since reopened with messages of thanks and and a video of a confrontation with Mr McGarry displayed on Facebook pages called “Corrigan’s Londis Kilmuckridge” and “Peaceful Demonstration”.
One of the videos appears to show Mr McGarry in an argument with another man over the legality of KTech’s seizure of the premises. Mr McGarry is handed what are described as papers alleging trespass.
Shocked by seizure
Mr Corrigan was not available for comment on Tuesday. However, his brother Lar, who runs a supermarket in Oulart, said the family were shocked by what had happened.
Lar Corrigan claimed that paperwork produced by KTech Security bore details of a court order dated August 2014, which he said was set aside by the courts in a subsequent order dated April 29th, 2015. He said legal action would now be taken against KTech for trespass.
“They illegally broke in and were taking stock before people stopped the pallets from leaving,” he said.
Attempts to secure a comment from receiver Ken Fennell of Deloitte were unsuccessful. KBC Bank said it had no comment to make.
Mr McGarry said he would be seeking legal advice before answering questions or outlining KTech’s version of events.
Mr Beades said up to 500 people had come out on Sunday to express their opposition to what was happening.
Corrections & Clarifications
In this article, it was claimed that agents acting for Ken Fennell of Deloitte had illegally taken possession of a Londis supermarket at Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford. The Irish Times accepts, however, that Mr Fennell is a validly appointed receiver over this property and his agents took lawful possession of the property on October 5th, 2015.
An article in the edition of October 14th 2015, headed "Locals reclaim repossessed Wexford supermarket" wrongly reported an allegation that KTech, a security firm acting under the direction of Deloitte, forced their way into the supermarket without proper legal sanction or entitlement. In fact, KTech had legal authority to enter the premises. The article also reported accusations that KTech staff wore balaclavas and removed stock from the supermarket. The Irish Times accepts that there is no basis to these accusations and apologises to KTech and Kevin McGarry