The behaviour of receivers who attempt to secure assets from those in debt needs to be clearly defined according to independent TD Mattie McGrath.

The Tipperary South/West Waterford TD said he was recently involved in a mediating capacity, in a tense and highly charged confrontation between a receiver appointed to recoup assets from a Kildare farmer, Paul O’Shea and a number of O’Shea’s supporters.

“I have never heard of such a level of outright intimidation by a receiver, who arrived at the farm at about 2.00am with Alsatian dogs and up to 50 staff some who were dressed in balaclavas, 10 large trucks, and jeeps, industrial loaders, tower lights, a mini bus and three Garda vehicles,” the TD said.

Deputy McGrath said that Mr O’Shea was not present and so his wife attempted to address the situation, when she asked the Garda Superintendent at the scene to produce a court order, he had none to produce.

“There then followed a scene in which Mrs O’Shea, who was in clear distress asked the Gardaí for assistance but they refused point blank.

“It is the kind of behaviour that is not only going to terrify families right across the country who may find themselves in a similar situation, but it also sets a sinister and disturbing precedent in terms of an escalation of intimidation tactics by receivers,” Deputy McGrath said.

The TD said that he did everything in his power to calm and scale back the ordeal being inflicted on Mrs O’Shea but there was marked reluctance to engage on the receiver’s part and indeed by a Garda who was at the scene and refused to speak with the TD on the phone at 3.40am.

Deputy McGrath said he has spoken directly to the Minister for Justice about the incident and that such behaviour must be clearly regulated and defined. He said that such behaviour should not be carried out within normal working hours not in the dead of night.