A man remained barricaded into his family home last night after a stand-off with officials who are trying to repossess the property.
Plant Hire company owner Dermot Ivers had used his own machinery to bulldoze a front wall at the semi-detached house in Rory O'Connor Place in Arklow, Co Wicklow, at 11.20 on Tuesday night and moved a digger, tractor unit and various vans into the garden to block access to the house.
Neighbours said Mr Ivers claimed he would use the digger to knock down the house rather than have it repossessed. A large digger bucket was positioned to block the front door and windows on the ground and first-floor level were boarded with sheets of plywood.
Sheriff Tom Tancred arrived at the property shortly before noon yesterday but his request to speak privately with Mr Ivers was refused.
Mr Ivers, who lives at the house with his father and other family members, said he was open to negotiations but wanted to talk to the sheriff through the first-floor window, as he had done with others throughout the stand-off.
"Of course I am willing to talk. I want to see things sorted out and not to have negotiations put in jeopardy," he said.
Mr Ivers refused to offer any details as to the specifics of the reason for the sheriff's visit but commented that he would like to have the matter resolved without delay.
Over 60 bystanders monitored the incident, many of whom clapped and cheered from time to time. Mr Ivers emerged briefly from the house at 1pm but then only spoke to supporters.
Mr Tancred said that he was not prepared to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.