THE LAND OF SHAME AND WHERE BAILIFFS PLAY HIDE AND SEEK FROM THE LAW

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Eviction in Clonlara, Co Clare
Eviction in Clonlara, Co Clare

By : Liam Deegan

THE CIRCUIT COURT

In another illegal and shameful attempt at an eviction by the Bank of Ireland, again in County Clare and this time on a mother with seven children. The mother of seven had been understood to be in the Circuit court on Tuesday last having an appeal heard and had arrived home only to find that one or more security companies had broken into the house.

The possession order had originally been given in the Circuit Court on the basis of rateable valuation as previously used in civil bills by the banks. It is not yet clear as to why the Circuit Court dismissed the families appeal on Tuesday.

Ironically the Circuit Courts are still hearing cases based on rateable valuation even though it has been ruled that the Circuit Court no longer enjoys any such jurisdiction due to a judgement given by Ms Justice Murphy some months ago and added to by having had the verdict subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal within the last number of weeks.

CHILDREN LOCKED IN A BEDROOM

The security companies involved immediately moved in to take possession, having been seen by passers-by to be hanging around the area earlier that morning. Metal shutters were fitted to the most of the windows and doors of the property to stop anybody trying to enter or leave, with the exception of one bedroom window which remained unfitted with the shutters.

Meanwhile, members of the family have claimed that they remained locked inside the property unable to access bathrooms and the kitchen area as security personnel remained in situ with them. Calls were made for help by the family and as more family, neighbours and friends arrived at the scene, the situation appeared to turn nasty with one security man seen to block and assault a man trying to gain entry into the house to get access to the children locked in a bedroom by security personnel.

Witnesses allege that the security team had taken chairs and mattresses from the children’s bedroom leaving them nowhere to sleep. Two of the children have further alleged that they were physically assaulted by members of the security team in the bedroom.

According to eyewitnesses and a video shown on social media sites and seen by thousands of people, the security operative with grey hair and clearly seen in the video is alleged to have assaulted a man attempting to gain entry and can be seen to leave the house to confront another bystander in the garden. It appeared from the video that a verbal altercation ensued between the two men, with the security operative going head to head with the other man in a very intimidating manner and then seen to back off.

The identity of that particular security operative has now been established as Kevin Maguire from Carrigaline in County Cork. Maguire was not wearing any form of identification including any Private Security Authority issued ID card and refused to identify himself when asked to by people at the scene. The PSA register has no record of Maguire as an individual licence holder under that name.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Maguire claims to work as a director for Senture Security Limited; however there is no record of him or anyone of that name on record in the CRO acting as a company director. Maguire’s wife Mary is listed instead as a director of Senture Security Ltd.

Further to that Maguire’s wife Mary also is named as a director of Secure Management Solutions Limited with an address in Citywest, Dublin 24. Maguire, according to his LinkedIn profile has claimed that he is a director of this company and again there is no record of him in the CRO listed as holding such a position.

According to sources, Maguire was on the board of management of Carrigaline Community School from 2012 and was made Chairman during the period of 2014 to 2015.

SECURITY COMPANIES ON SITE

The primary security company/companies allegedly involved were named locally and on social media as Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and Active Security Management Ltd, both with the same address in Melitta Rd in Kildare town and both owned by ex-soldier Ross Howard and fellow director Tristan Hogan. Their website has a Vina Skehan (otherwise known as Vina Horgan) listed as sales director.

After an initial investigation it was discovered that Horgan-Skehan who was clearly witnessed to be in attendance at the attempted eviction is not registered with the Private Security Authority (PSA) under either of her assumed surnames. Another individual who goes by the name of John McShera and who is living in Boyle, County Roscommon was later identified as one of the security personnel from his Facebook profile and by witnesses on the ground and is alleged to be unregistered with the PSA under that name.

Another member identified on social media and by witnesses at the scene was named as Anthony Hobbs from Kerry. Hobbs is alleged to be unregistered with the Private Security Authority under that name.

Another individual clearly identified at the scene was named as Czech national, Roman Fako. Although Fako is registered with the Private Security Authority, it is understood from sources that information pertaining to his licence has been passed to the Private Security Authority.

Other members of the security team have now taken down their Facebook pages after they were identified by eyewitnesses at the scene. However ongoing investigations are continuing into confirming their identities.

NO ID WORN BY SECURITY

None of the security personnel wore any form of PSA issued ID card and had refused to identify themselves when questioned. Witnesses have indicated that they will be making complaints to the PSA about Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and their sister company Active Security Management Ltd, a company that Horgan-Skehan claims that she also works for, according to her Facebook page.

THREATS

It is further alleged that Horgan-Skehan when contacted by telephone by an individual who had been at the eviction attempt claimed that she has now resigned from the company and that G4S Security has “taken over and that there would be 40 people sent from G4S to take the house back”. No one from G4S turned up at the site.

On Saturday evening, in a telephone call with an individual who was on scene, Vina Horgan-Skehan’s sister had made claimed that Horgan-Skehan was in hospital and that she was distressed and suicidal. The sister went on to claim that “everyone blocking the eviction would be held liable if Vina Horgan-Skehan was to commit suicide”.

She also claimed that “Gardaí have all of the names and that arrests would be made”. She went on to state that “the Sunday World was going to do a story on the individuals who were present at the scene”.

However, claims were made by eyewitnesses that Vina Horgan-Skehan was heard and seen to physically threaten a female bystander with actual bodily harm and that she (Horgan-Skehan) had allegedly shouted to the bystander that she would “dig the head off her”.

It was further noted and observed that Horgan-Skehan had used threatening language in a Facebook private message sent to one individual who had been at the scene and in which Horgan-Skehan was seen to have threatened an individual with words to the effect of “Get your facts right, the guards will be dealing with you” and “I have your address, you’ll be dealt with”.

It is alleged by eyewitnesses that Vina Horgan-Skehan took an active part in the eviction attempt as seen on the many videos circulating on social media. It was further alleged that Horgan-Skehan was seen back at the property later that night (Saturday) by witnesses who were still on scene.

The directors of Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and a sister company Active Security Management Ltd were contacted for a response. A man calling himself “Ian” refuted any allegations put to them in regard to their legality of their actions at the scene. He also refuted allegations made by Horgan-Skehan that G4S were now the new owners of Active Security Management Ltd. When it was pointed out that they were using unlicenced operatives in evictions, “Ian” refused to engage any further after an initial denial of same and ended the call.

Nightsafe Security Services Ltd/Active Security Management Ltd has failed to reply to emails sent to their office.

CONFUSION OVER COMPANIES AT THE SCENE

There was some confusion in the initial stages as to which security company or even how many security companies was involved. AOC Specialist Services of Ratoath, Co. Meath were contacted for clarification as to their role in the eviction. They have not responded to any telephone calls made to their company.

It should be noted that AOC Specialist Services acting on behalf of Bank of Ireland employed ex-detective Garda Michael Murphy at a previous attempt at an illegal eviction in Corofin County Clare some months back.

Murphy has now lodged an affidavit into the courts claiming that he was obstructed from carrying out his duty as agent for the bank and is looking for a committal order against an Anti-Eviction Taskforce member and the home owner Tommy Collins. This was the attempted eviction where the security men wore balaclavas and taped up the registrations of their cars in a misguided attempt to hide their identities.

Another company named for its part in the latest eviction was Dwellguard owned by John Murray and based in Ballincollig in County Cork. Dwellguard supplied and fitted the shuttering on the family home. Murray was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Sources have indicated that allegations are now being made that the some of the security personnel were being paid cash in hand as they are not employees of some of the companies named here. These same sources have indicated that they have bought the matter to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Social Protection.

The Department of Social Protection now have opened an investigation into certain named individuals who were part of the security team.

NAME AND SHAME CAMPAIGN

Meanwhile, anti-eviction activists throughout the country have vowed to step up the campaign to publically name and shame companies and individuals actively involved in evictions anywhere in the country. In a chilling warning, a spokesman for the groups involved, stated that any companies or individuals who take part in any eviction attempt on a family home would be named and shamed not just on social media but in other more visible and public ways.

GARDAI ON SCENE

According to eyewitnesses, Gardaí only attended the scene after as they had received a report of an incident on Saturday but did not appear to get involved in any real effort to assist the security companies. Gardaí left the scene shortly thereafter and did not return.

Later on Saturday afternoon, family members, neighbours and friends peacefully removed the security companies occupying the premises and regained possession of the family home.

THE AUTHORITIES NEED TO GET TOUGH

In what is becoming glaringly obvious, security companies are using unregistered individuals while hoping not to get caught in the act. The Private Security Authority need to be seen to be strictly enforcing the law surrounding the misuse of licences or in many cases the enforcement of the law on security companies that use unlicenced people as appears to be the case in this story. It further appears and is alleged that criminals from other countries are routinely slipping through the vetting process and are obtaining licences using false personal details.

The security industry already has a bad name and it’s about to get a lot worse. This is a nightmare scenario for any law abiding security company trying to rise above the severely tarnished image presented by security companies who have a lot less regard for the law.

Banks must also be taken to task in regards to their liability in using unlicenced operators, and legal action needs to be taken against them accordingly for shirking their responsibility in the matter. It is now quite clear that the law is being flouted by some security companies and the banks jointly, and wholeheartedly supported by a very questionable judicial system operating on the Circuit Court level.

It seems incredulous that the security industry still has its cowboys even after the big clean up by the Private Security Authority. It would make sense for the law abiding security companies to push the cowboys out of the market and help mop up what is essentially an important industry mainly populated by decent people just looking to make a clean living.

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Source : https://www.facebook.com/liam.deegan2/posts/1123453311024602