Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the acting Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to immediately investigate the activities of the Cork Sheriff’s office and the receivers it has been working in partnership with over the course of the last year. Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of a protest planned for tomorrow to highlight the auction of a Cork family’s (Peter and Tracy Kingston)farm machinery:
“The situation that has developed in relation to the Kingston family and the trauma they have endured at the hands of the Cork Sheriff’s Office and its associated receivers is absolutely outrageous.
In an attempt to recoup a debt of €2.4 million the Sheriff’s office has managed to run up a staggering level of costs that I am informed is close to €1.5 million.
Farm creditors who had understood there would be a surplus when the auction of the Kingston assets took place are now left utterly frustrated at what can only be described as the bewildering indifference of the Sheriff’s Office with respect to the ever mounting bill it is incurring.
From what I am given to understand there is absolutely no justification for these costs given the level of cooperation that the family have extended at all times.
I also understand that management of the Kingston farm was effectively hijacked with the imposition of a farm manager flown in from Holland as well as additional farm hand staff who were also flown in from Holland.
These are exactly the type of operations that have farming families and communities terrorised and which are leaving them extremely vulnerable in the absence of anything even resembling the effective protection of the law.
I am therefore urging the Minister to have her Department and the Gardaí immediately investigate this whole shadowy affair and offer farming families some semblance of defence against those who will resort to the use of unscrupulous and intimidating actions without a moment’s hesitation,” concluded Deputy McGrath.