Posts Tagged ‘Western People’

No surrender to bank, says Easkey landowner

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Western People

AN EASKEY father and son are battling the banks in a bid to save their farm.

John Devaney, aged 64, and his son Jonathan, aged 33, from Templeview, Easkey, have moved to prevent Bank of Ireland from taking 35 acres of land they bought in Killeenduff 11 years ago.

On Monday there was a stand-off between the Devaneys and their supporters, as gardaí and bailiffs were brought in to seize the land. Signs erected by the Devaneys – warning “land grabbers” to stay away – were torn down as tensions heightened. Baliffs were prevented from entering the lands after the Devaneys blocked an access gate with a digger and boulders.

In 1999, the Devaneys, who are dairy farmers, received a Bank of Ireland loan to buy 35 acres of land. The family are understood to owe the bank in the region of €260,000.

They accept they cannot pay their debts to the bank except by way of asset disposal. But they say that the bank refused a viable alternative which would enable them to reestablish their dairy farm, and claim that the bank now refuses to even speak with them.

The father and son received a letter on September 28 stating that a buyer for the land had been found and a sale agreed. But the Devaneys and their legal representatives argue that the tender received was far less than the debt owed. The family say they offered Bank of Ireland a plot of land of 38.5 acres which would enable them to keep farming but the bank refused.

“It’s time to rebel and stand up for yourself. All we’re asking for is a bit of fair play,” said Jonathan Devaney.

“It’s another case of one rule for the big boys and another rule for the small fellas,” his father John added. Richard Rea, of Rea Property and Debt Resolution, who is acting for the Devaneys, said the bank has refused to meet with him and said its actions “will leave Jonathan’s future as a farmer on the scrapheap”.

A spokeswoman for Bank of Ireland told the Western People it does not comment on individual cases.