A sense of calm has returned to the scene of dramatic and violent incidents which took place at a farmhouse near Strokestown over the past week.
Two of the three family members who were evicted from the residence at Falsk last week returned to the house on Monday evening. A spokesperson for the family said they were “deeply traumatised”.
Brothers Anthony and David McGann and their sister Geraldine were evicted from their home on Tuesday, December 11th when a private security firm, acting on behalf of KBC Bank, repossessed the property in scenes which were widely condemned.
There was speculation that some of those involved in removing the McGanns from their home may have been ex-loyalist paramilitaries. One exchange between a local man and one of the security team, during which the latter said he was “British”, prompted a furious reaction on social media. Video footage posted on social media showed a local man being wrestled to the ground. It later emerged that the man, who required hospitalisation, is a retired Garda.
There was condemnation of the fact that what was described as the “heavy-handed” approach of the security firm continued without any intervention by An Garda Siochana, who were present and observing proceedings.
As emotions in the Strokestown area remained heightened, events took a dramatic new turn in the early hours of last Sunday morning when a large group of men arrived at the house, by now occupied by members of the security firm. The men, allegedly wielding baseball bats, confronted the security personnel. During the fracas that followed, eight security men were injured, a number of vehicles were set alight, and a security dog was injured. The dog later had to be put down. Three of the injured security men were subsequently hospitalised. There is no suggestion that the family who had been evicted from the house had any connection with or knowledge of this incident.
Tensions remained extremely high throughout Sunday. On Monday evening, two members of the family returned to the property. There was no presence on the part of KBC Bank and/or the security firm it had engaged to carry out the eviction. Neighbours, Gardai and local politicians were present.