THE plight of those evicted from their homes was highlighted at this week’s meeting of Clare County Council, with one councillor voicing fears that someone could take the law into their own hands. Calls were made for the Government to introduce a moratorium on evictions until the social housing crisis has been resolved.
Councillor PJ Ryan commented, “One of these days I can see somebody taking the law into their own hands if the situation is not rectified. The banks are 95% the cause of the problem and they need to take a reality check.”
Councillor Mike McKee raised the issue with the local authority where he outlined increases in the numbers of people evicted across the country, those in mortgage arrears and families being made homeless.
“Hard-working families are being dragged through the courts by the banks, the very same banks that were bailed out,” he stated.
“There is a crisis in social housing at the moment and until that crisis is resolved, we can’t let the housing list get any larger,” added Councillor McKee.
He was supported by Councillor Ann Norton, who emphasised that, in many cases, it is children who are also losing their homes. “This has to be one of the most stressful and hardest things, to be removed from your home. Unfortunately, the West of Ireland still has not seen the recovery. There are over 3,000 people on the housing waiting list in Clare alone and the last thing we need is families being put out of their homes.”
She urged the banks to do more and encouraged those in financial trouble to seek support. “It’s important that people are in their homes and not on the streets,” she said.
Councillor Johnny Flynn commented that there is a “human crisis”, adding “it’s unfortunate 150 years after Parnell stood in the square in Ennis and announced the principle of boycotting”.
“Landlords, vulture funds and banks that have being bailed out evicting Irish citizens is unacceptable,” he said.
Councillor Mary Howard added, “There is nothing more terrifying for a child to have to see what’s going on. I worry about the children in the future and how it will affect them.”
Councillor Joe Cooney stated, “No families want to be in a position where they are evicted; hopefully, some law can be put in place.”
By Jessica Quinn