Promontoria (Aran) Limited, a company owned and controlled by Cerberus Capital Management has seized the constituency office of People Before Profit TD for Dublin Mid-West, Gino Kenny.
Deputy Kenny has paid his rent in full for over 12 months and has no dispute with either his landlord or the vulture fund in question. Indeed, Deputy Kenny was only made aware that there was an issue on Monday 17 July. In response, PBP immediately moved the most sensitive files out of the office including case files, but they were unable to move wholesale.
On 19 July receivers turned up and changed the locks on the Constituency office. Deputy Kenny was only notified of this by a passer-by. Subsequently Deputy Kenny confronted the receiver, Duff and Phelps who agreed to give Deputy Kenny a key for the office in order to diffuse the situation. On Saturday 22 July the receivers seized the office once again, this time removing the signs and changing the locks for a second time.
In official correspondence, the receivers stated that they would issue proceedings should Mr Kenny refuse to leave, but instead of giving him sufficient time to order his affairs, they seized the office in the early hours of 22 July. People Before Profit have taken legal advice which confirms that what Promotoria have done is illegal. Deputy Kenny’s office has files and a range of other sensitive material. It also contains Dáil equipment and private property belonging to the staff.
Promontoria’s act has ridden roughshod over data protection laws. Their aggression also has serious defamatory potential, given the fact that Deputy Kenny’s office is on a public high street. He has had his office seized in a most public manner despite being fully up to date on his rent. PBP tried to contact Promontoria on Friday July 21 without success.
Reacting to this situation Deputy Kenny said, “What is happening is unprecedented. Virtually without notice our constituency office is now being illegally occupied. As an elected public representative for this constituency this is absolute outrage and an affront to me in the pursuance of a job the people of this area elected me to do”
People Before Profit National Organiser, Brian O’ Boyle added,
“Promontoria is the rotten face of Irish capitalism. These bullies have taken over a public office with hardly any notice. In the process they have stuck their fingers up at Deputy Kenny’s constituents and data protection laws. They may have a court order but they have no right to PBP material. We can’t and won’t let vulture funds treat the rest of us in this way.”