Husband removed from court before judge tells wife to get legal advice in house repossession case

By Ann O'Loughlin

A High Court judge has urged a couple to get legal advice or face the prospect of being jailed for contempt over their alleged failure to obey an order to vacate their home.

Mr Justice Tony O'Connor today adjourned proceedings brought by KBC Bank against Ms Linda Hussey Smith and her husband Gordon Smith.

Last month KBC Bank Ireland Plc obtained an injunction against the couple and anti-eviction campaigner Ben Gilroy, requiring them and any other persons to vacate the couple's home at Hamlet Avenue, Chieftain's Way, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

KBC said it obtained a Circuit Court order for possession of the property in 2016, arising out a failure to make repayments on the mortgage.

KBC obtained possession in February but claims its security staff were forced to leave after persons had kicked, punched and spat at them.

It then obtained a High Court injunction against the couple and Mr Gilroy, requiring them to vacate the premises by late March. The bank claims the couple have failed to comply with the order resulting in motions for alleged contempt being brought against Mr and Mrs Smith.

The couple, representing themselves, oppose the application and want the injunction set aside.

Mrs Smith told Mr Justice Tony O'Connor information relevant to the injunction was allegedly withheld from the court during the injunction proceedings.

Mrs Smith claimed she was assaulted when attempts were made to take possession of the property on behalf of the bank.

Earlier her husband was removed from the court by gardaí after he refused on several occasions to answer questions from the judge as to whether he would abide by the court order.

During the garda intervention, several supporters of the Smiths shouted and roared at the court.

KBC said it does not want to see the couple jailed but that it has no choice other than taking the proceedings. It denies all of the claims made by the couple.

Mr Justice O'Connor, seeking to restore calm, adjourned the matter to next week to allow Mrs Smith obtain legal advice on what he said was a most serious matter.

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