Two McGann siblings have returned to their Roscommon home
Two of the three McGann siblings, who were evicted from their Roscommon home last week, have returned to the home in Strokestown.
Donal Hanley, friend of the McGanns, told the Irish Independent that the siblings are "traumatized" by the events, and are hoping for things to calm down.
Retired garda Kevin Taylor, who was present and subsequently injured at the eviction that turned violent last week, said to the Irish Mirror that David and Geraldine McGann "just drove in as homeowners and put their key in the door and let themselves in" on Tuesday.
The third sibling, Anthony, is said to be staying elsewhere with friends but is planning on being in the home for Christmas if the family can still remain there.
The McGann's return to their Strokestown, Roscommon home follows a week's worth of incidents and a resulting media storm.
Last Tuesday, a private security firm arrived at the McGann house in order to evict the three siblings living there. The firm is said to have been hired by KBC Bank.
The eviction turned violent as David McGann, as well as retired garda Kevin Taylor, sustained injuries at the hands of the private security firm, who are said to be British.
Video of the eviction quickly went viral on Facebook.
*Warning: graphic language:
In response, a crowd of about 50 people descended upon the McGann family home in the early hours of Sunday morning to drive out the security forces who had been staying there. In the process, 8 people were injuries, several cars were set alight, and a dog was killed.
#Breaking: 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 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 inured 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. UPDATE: 8:30 am,Gardaí have declared the area around the property a crime scene, and it is being sealed off for investigation. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Video credit: The Democrat Pictures credit: The Democrat Video: Aftermath of mid-night raid, Strokestown.Publiée par The Democrat sur Dimanche 16 décembre 2018
The McGann siblings were said to have not been involved in the response attack.
Close family friend Anna Kavanagh, who has been posting video updates to her Facebook page, said two of the three McGanns have returned to the home.
She said the siblings are "overwhelmed" by both the media storm that has ensued as well as the outpouring of support they have received from not only their local but from the national community as well.
In her latest video, posted on Tuesday, Kavanagh said that David and Geraldine McGann are back in the house and wishing for things to “calm down”:
15:40 Tuesday 18 December scene of Roscommon evictionPubliée par Anna Kavanagh sur Mardi 18 décembre 2018
Kavanagh said that family and friends are with the siblings in the home and that several people from further abroad in the country have traveled to Strokestown to stand in solidarity.
According to Kavanagh, the family feels confident that they will be in their home for Christmas and New Years.
Kavanagh, who has become the mouthpiece for the McGann siblings, said the family is upset with some of the “mainstream media” reports surrounding the incident.
In particular, the family is upset about the lack coverage of the injuries that David McGann, an elderly man who suffers from chronic illness, and retired gardai Kevin Taylor received at the hands of the men forcing the eviction in Strokestown last week.
Geraldine McGann is said to be “deeply distressed” about the treatment of her late mother’s “sacred space” in the family home. As per tradition, when someone within the family dies, their bedroom is locked and the key hidden. When the McGann’s returned to the home, the door to the siblings’ late mother’s bedroom, which had been locked since 2015, had been smashed open.
A beloved calf that was kept in a shed nearby to the house was also let loose in a nearby field during the eviction.
Kavanagh said: “The family have asked me to make it very clear, that the family want the spotlight turned off this now."
"This has become a legal matter for the courts to decide which will be dealt with through the courts.”