herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Gardai storm home at centre of eviction row

Protestors who took over a home from which an elderly Dublin couple were evicted were arrested after gardai broke down the doors of the house yesterday afternoon.

The group of five men had gained access to the property at Luttrell Park Drive in Carpenterstown at around 7.30am yesterday and persuaded a security guard to leave.

They then occupied the house as a garda presence steadily grew larger. Gardai confirmed they arrested the four people remaining in the house last night.

March

The case centres on a repossession order instigated by ACC Bank because the owner of the house went into receivership in 2012 and the bank wants to sell the house to reduce its debt.

Elderly couple Martin (73) and Violet Coyne (61) had been renting the house and were ordered to vacate it by the courts.

But protesting that they had nowhere to go because they could not find a landlord to accept rent allowance, they stayed in the property until they were evicted on August 27.

Now a group calling themselves the Land League, who supported yesterday's re-taking of the house, has vowed to march to the private homes of bank bosses.

"Some chief executive in a bank has ordered this to happen," said Mr Beades, a spokesman for the group.

"This protest is going to be taken to the chief executive's houses. We'll be visiting his house in a similar fashion."

Other groups involved in yesterday's action were the Meath Anti-Eviction, and People For Economic Justice.

Jerry Beades described what happened when gardai took away the occupants of the house, including Martin and Violet's son Derek.

"At around four o'clock we noticed the garda numbers growing and then we saw some sort of task force guys arriving with house-breaking equipment," he said.

"They then went around the back of the house and broke down the doors before arresting the men insides," he added.

Earlier, Derek had told the Herald he was "over the moon" to be back in the house.

Speaking through a broken living room window, which the group say was not caused by them, he said: "I'm elated to be back in but it is distressing to see that somebody else has been sleeping in my parents' bed."

Martin and Violet Coyne told the Herald they were not involved in yesterday's protest as they still face a contempt of court charge next month.

The Coyne's said they are now sharing a child's bedroom with the three-year-old daughter of a relative.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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