Orla Mulvey beat the banks this week when she purchased back her brother’s repossessed property at an auction for just €76,000. Her purchase is now considered to be the first time a family has bought back a repossessed property.

The Irish Times reports that Mulvey purchased the five-bedroom Castlepollard, Co Westmeath house this week for just a fraction of its Celtic Tiger price. The house, which was for auction by Merlin properties, had been her brother’s but was repossessed by the banks.

The house was put to auction by the financial institution which had secured the repossession order.

An emotional Mulvey told the 75 people present at the auction at the Radisson Blu Hotel ballroom in Dublin 8 that she was attempting to buy back the property for her family. She added how that the property was partly on land which her father owned, thus preventing full access to the road should another bidder be successful.

With an advised minimum value of €50,000, bidding began. Mulvey ultimately beat out another interested bidder with a her offer of €76,000.

Property expert Carol Tallon told the Evening Herald that the sale of a property to a relative of the previous owner would have to have been agreed by the lender. Ed Byrne from Merlin Property Auctions, which oversaw the sale, said no one wanted to see anyone's home being repossessed and that Mulvey “fully deserved” to get the property as she was the highest bidder.

Mulvey’s purchase at the Merlin auction in Dublin was the day’s crowning moment as 15 of the 20 listed properties were ultimately withdrawn after little interest was generated.

Orla Mulvey, with her husband Martin, who bought back her father's houseGoogle Images