Video: Aftermath of mid-night raid, Strokestown.
A midnight-raid has taken place at a property outside Strokestown, Co Roscommon. The property, which consists of a house and farm, was taken into possession on the instructions of a financial institution on Tuesday of this week. It is unclear whether the eviction on Tuesday occurred as part of a repossession order or the appointment of a receiver. The incident was raised in the Dáil this week, and various videos have been circulating online in relation to the event.
At approximately 5 am on Sunday morning, the property was stormed by in excess of 70-people, who disembarked a number of vehicles before storming the house and farmyard.
The house has been occupied around the clock by private security contractors, who are believed to be from Northern Ireland since Tuesday, when the property was seized.
As part of the possession process, the family who are third-generation on the home farm, consisting of two elderly men (brothers) and their sister, were evicted. Videos of the eviction went viral on social media on Saturday evening, receiving over 150,000 views in a period of less than 6-hours, and growing. The video depicts several uniformed men dressed in black, one who identified himself as British, removing people from the property.
Sources tell the Democrat that 6 to 7 vehicles were burned out by the anti-eviction raiders. It is understood a chainsaw was used to cut down the front door and the property was stormed from the front and back, via doors and windows. It is also understood that one security-man released dogs on the raiders, but was subdued and reportedly told to leave and never “touch an elderly person in the 26-counties again”, and that the raiders knew who he was and that they would be back if the occupation of the property wasn’t ended. Reliable sources have indicated that the raiders informed the security guard that they knew his name and address before releasing him.
Sources tell the Democrat that no-one was seriously injured in the incident but significant damage was caused to vehicles, with several being burned and another seriously damaged. However, it is understood that Ambulances were called to the scene, and arrived at approximately 6 am. Gardaí are also at the scene.
When the raiders entered the property, many of the occupiers of the property ran-away up fields at the back of the property. It is understood that they didn’t return until the raiders left the scene. The Fire services arrived at the scene at approximately 5.40 am, before the fire could spread to the house. The entire yard was engulfed in flames, which were spreading to nearby hedges and trees when the fire services arrived.
More to follow as this story develops.
8:30 am: Gardaí have declared the area around the property a crime scene, and it is being sealed off for investigation.
11.30 am: It is understood that eight people were injured in this morning’s raid at a repossessed property near Strokestown, by anti-eviction raiders. Three of those injured required treatment at Sligo and Mullingar hospitals. Four vehicles were burned out and a dog was put-down due to it's injuries. Gardaí are investigating the incident.
Video credit: The Democrat
Pictures credit: The Democrat