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Gardai at scene after ‘Common Law Society’ block start

Supporters of Brendan Gildea and Garda’ at the disputed site in Ardarawer, Kiltoy.

A tense stand-off between An Garda Síochána and members of a group  
that helps people fight against repossessions and receiverships has  
ended peacefully in Letterkenny.
Shortly after 6.30am on Friday, concrete bollards were removed  
allowing machinery to gain access to a disputed four-acre site at  
Ardarawer, Kiltoy.
Within minutes, members of the Common Law Society (formerly Helping  
Hands) started to arrive on the scene where they found six uniformed  
Gardai blocking the entrance to the site.
Shortly before 11am the machinery was taken back off the site and the  
bollards and fencing were restored with both parties agreeing that no  
one would enter the site again until the matter, which is currently  
before the High Court, is resolved.
Last year, planning permission was granted to Creeslough-based  
building contractor Mr Charles Roarty of CR Renaissance Properties  
Limited and Roarty Developments Limited, to develop 46 units made up  
of three-storey duplex and semi-detached dwelling. houses on the site  
which is close to Meadow Hill.
However, well known local Letterkenny contractor Mr Brendan Gildea has  
lodged an adverse possession claim (sometimes described as squatter’s  
rights) in the High Court.
“Until such a time as that issue is sorted we’ll be insisting that the  
site has to stay the same as it is,” Mr Michael McGee explained.
Speaking to the Donegal News at the entrance to the site on Friday  
morning Mr McGee, who describes himself as being a “man aiding and  
assisting his fellow man”, claimed that High Court papers handed to Mr  
Gildea last week were nothing more than ‘pieces of paper’.
The spokesman for the Common Law Society, which claims to be educating  
the people to protect themselves, said that Mr Gildea was within his  
rights to protect his property.
“These people have illegally entered a site that Brendan Gildea has  
had possession of for the past twenty-nine years. He has an adverse  
possession claim in with the High Court and Land Registry and until  
such times as that is sorted this site has to stay the way it is,” Mr  
McGee said.
“They maintain that they have a High Court order but what they have is  
a piece of paper – nothing more. A High Court order has to have one of  
two things. It must have stamp duty on its face and has to be signed  
by the Judge and Registrar. This one has no stamp duty on it and only  
has the name of the registrar on it. There is another way – have stamp  
duty on its face and signed by either the judge or registrar but it  
then has to have the High Court seal on the document. This document we  
have here is toilet paper,” he said, waving three sheets of paper in  
the air.
“I’ve explained all this to the Gardai and said that we’re here to  
help our neighbour and protect his property. There’s no violence here  
– we abhor violence,” he added.
“If I broke into someone’s house at 6.30am this morning I would expect  
to be arrested. There was a fence up here and concrete bollards too  
and they’ve been moved. I’ve asked the Gardai to arrest them but  
they’ve refused,” Mr McGee said.
“I went to watch the film Black 47 the other night and nothing has  
changed. Eighteen months ago at The Kube (another Letterkenny building  
that was developed by Brendan Gildea) there were eighty Guards wearing  
riot gear and carrying sub machine guns and yet we’re now back in the  
Kube.
“The law is the law is the law but unfortunately it looks like there’s  
no law in this country,” he blasted.
According to the High Court papers the matter came before Mr Justice  
Barniville on July 30.
The plaintiffs were listed as CR Renaissance Properties Limited and  
Roarty Developments Limited with Brendan Gildea and Noel Gildea the  
named defendants.
It ordered the defendants remove the container placed on Mr Roarty’s  
lands in Kiltoy as well as removing any obstacles blocking access to  
the site.
It also ordered that the defendants, pending the trial of the action  
or further order in the meantime,  do not access the site or trespass  
on Mr Roarty’s lands.
Mr Brendan Gildea, who was also on site on Friday morning, declined to  
comment.
When contacted later in the day, Mr Charles Roarty of CR Renaissance  
Properties Limited said that he would “abide by the laws of the land”.

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