Two men jailed over their interference with a bank's lawful takeover of a Co Roscommon farm which was the subject of a controversial eviction in 2018 have asked the High Court to release them from custody.
The application was made by lawyers representing Michael Anthony McGann, who owns the property at Falsk, Strokestown, Co Roscommon, and Kevin Taylor, a retired garda of Dublin Road, Longford, were among three men arrested at the house last year for interference with efforts by KBC Bank's agents to secure the property following the eviction. They were found to be in contempt a week later and were lodged in Mountjoy Prison, where they have spent almost five months.
At Thursday's sitting of the High Court Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds reviewed their cases, with the men attending via a video link from the prison. Brendan Donelon Bl said that the men should be released and he was basing his application on a recent High Court decision, in a separate unrelated action, recently given by Mr Justice Senan Allen, Mr Justice Allen ordered the release of a businessman Fergal Deery who had spent 115 days in Mountjoy for being in contempt of court. Counsel said the coercive and punitive elements of the contempt findings against the two men had been satisfied.
Counsel added that his clients, who do not accept they were in contempt of court, were also prepared to give undertakings not to interfere with the property. KBC's lawyers and the court expressed concerns over the terms of the undertakings being offered.
Ms Justice Reynolds, adjourned the case to allow the men have further consultations with their legal team.
The hearing will resume on Friday morning.