Roscommon eviction: KBC seeking debt repayment since 2009

Anthony McGann agreed settlement with Revenue for €429,501 three years ago

Dozens of masked men confronted security guards occupying a repossessed home outside Strokestown, Co Roscommon early on Sunday. The violence has been condemned by the authorities. This video captures the site after the eviction. Video: Brian Farrell

 

The effort by KBC Bank to get its debt repaid by Co Roscommon farmer Anthony McGann began as far back as 2009, court records show.

The bank engaged a security company to take possession of Mr McGann’s home, where he lived with his brother and sister, on December 11th last.

Last Sunday evening a gang of men attacked the security men who were in the house, causing some of them to require hospital treatment. A dog that was with the security men was killed.

Mr McGann’s siblings, David and Geraldine, are understood to have since returned to the house, which is in the townland of Falsk, near Strokestown.

High Court records show that KBC lodged proceedings against Michael Anthony McGann in July 2009 and that a possession order was awarded in the case in 2013. The size of the debt is not known but is understood to be in excess of €300,000.

It appears the 2013 possession order was not acted on. It is understood that attempts by the bank to negotiate a solution were unsuccessful. New affidavits were filed in the case in subsequent years. A renewal of the possession order was issued in June 2017. Mr McGann, who was legally represented, swore a new affidavit the following month, and a possession order was issued in August of this year.

Security men

It is understood Mr McGann’s home was visited by a representative of the county sheriff’s office in September and he advised that he would have to leave the property. On December 9th, the house was called on again and the occupants told that possession would be taken of the house two days later.

The court had told the bank it could take possession of the house at 1pm on December 11th and on that date papers to that effect were served by an agent of the sheriff. Security men who attended were engaged by the bank.

The physical removal of the McGanns was filmed and the video posted on social media. Members of An Garda Síochána were in attendance but did not interfere. It is understood there was no livestock on the farm at the time.

The situation in Co Roscommon is very unusual as most possession procedures are executed by arrangement.

Land registry files show that Mr 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 included one by a Bank of Ireland subsidiary that provides finance for the purchase of Land Rovers.

The Co Roscommon farmer, 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. What sales this VAT bill arose from is not known. Efforts to contact Mr McGann have not been successful.