‘Householder assaulted and ejected from the house with family.’
Sligo News File
Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan has ordered a report following claims that Gardai “stood idly by” during an incident allegedly involving former British army soldiers hired by KBC Bank forcibly entering a Dublin home where it’s been said the householder was physically assaulted and ejected from the residence along with his family.
Raising the issue during Leaders Questions in the Dail on Tuesday, Mattie McGrath said KBC had hired former British Army members forcibly to enter the Smith family home in Balbriggan the previous day. Entry, he said, was made at 9 am. In the course of the occurrence, the householder was physically assaulted and ejected with his family from the home.
He said, “Gardaí were present all day at the scene in Balbriggan and stood idly by but, thankfully, neighbours and friends of the family arrived late yesterday evening, at which stage the gardaí advised the mercenaries to leave, and I salute them for that.”
“This is the same bank that put 2,500 people on the wrong tracker mortgage rate, resulting in the loss of 33 properties, including six family homes,” he said.
Remarking “I do not want to invoke the song ‘Go On Home British Soldiers,'” McGrath went on to say that, “Those former British soldiers should not be here to carry out such thuggery on Irish people.
“The Taoiseach wants to allow such actions along with allowing people to freeze to death. Such events are being carried out under our watch by KBC and other banks and more will be facilitated by banks selling mortgages to vulture funds. Retired British army mercenaries have no business in this country. We have the Garda Síochána to enforce the law. It is outrageous.
“What is the Taoiseach going to do?”
The Taoiseach replied that he was “unaware of the matter” referred to by the Deputy.
McGrath said the Taoiseach could not “sit idly by and allow thuggery to be perpetrated by a third force, neither the Garda nor the Army. We do not need such people here. They did their deeds elsewhere and have retired on pensions. They should not be allowed come to Ireland—–”
An Ceann Comhairle said the Deputy couldn’t “come in a second time.”
McGrath: “The Taoiseach must answer the question.”
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: “He must answer.”
An Ceann Comhairle: “Does the Minister for Justice and Equality have anything to say on this matter?”
Minister for Justice and Equality: “The Deputy has made very serious allegations. I ask him to communicate with me in writing—”
McGrath: “I will.”
Minister for Justice and Equality: ” —–and I will seek a report from the Garda Síochána on the matter.”
McGrath briefly mentioned the alleged incident again in the Dail on Wednesday.
He said, “We saw what happened in Balbriggan to the Smith family who were terrorised by people from abroad, ex-British soldiers. The Taoiseach asked me to put it in writing.
I have two letters here, one for the Taoiseach and one for the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Flanagan. I will give them to the usher to hand to them.
“Ex-British soldiers beat this family. We have a short memory. In September 1920, Balbriggan was sacked and looted by the Black and Tans and two people were killed that night. The local barber, James Lawless, and John Gibson were both beaten to death by the Black and Tans. They are back again and this has happened under the Government’s watch. It is a shame on all of us to allow this go on last Monday morning in Balbriggan. I have the information here and I want the Government to act on it. I also want the Government to support legislation to stop the vultures getting their grisly claws on any more loans.”
The information is contained in the report on proceedings in the Dail