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Sunday 25 August 2019

'I've done nothing to deserve this' - mum-of-six pleads against eviction order

Melissa Redmond with her children Elizabeth (25), Rima (2), baby Farrah and Annamai (7)
Melissa Redmond with her children Elizabeth (25), Rima (2), baby Farrah and Annamai (7)

A mother-of-six is pleading with the local sheriff not to evict her from her home after getting less than two weeks' notice.

Melissa Redmond (44), said that she received a letter from the Dublin City Sheriff on June 14, notifying her of the eviction.

The mother, whose children include an 11-week-old baby, now fears being left homeless with her kids.

Also living at the property in Thornton Heights, Inchicore, is her 25-year-old daughter, who is five-months' pregnant, as well Ms Redmond's younger kids, aged 21, 17, seven, two and 11 weeks.

Order

Ms Redmond was informed in writing by the Dublin City Sheriff the office was carrying out an execution order on her property on Wednesday.

The letter said the family should remove any property from the house by June 26.

A second letter from Circle Voluntary Housing Association (VHA) on Monday confirmed the family were to be evicted on Wednesday.

No reason was formally given by the Office of the Dublin City Sheriff, and Ms Redmond said she was only informed on the phone that it related to antisocial behaviour.

Following further inquiries, Ms Redmond said she was told by phone that the eviction related to her daughter's conviction for a drug offence dating back more than two years ago.

Her second eldest daughter, Yasmin (21), received a four-year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Court after being found with €24,000 of drugs she was holding for a third party.

However, Ms Redmond questioned why action was only being taken now after an incident more than two years ago, in which she had no involvement.

"I'm a strong woman, believe me, I am strong, but yesterday broke me," she told the Herald in relation to the planned eviction on Wednesday, which ultimately did not take place.

"I love my home, and for it to be taken off me in them circumstances is very unfair.

"I've done literally nothing to deserve this. But to be told on a piece of paper that the sheriff is coming. It doesn't make sense to me."

Ms Redmond added that she had previously been in arrears but that this had been settled and paid back in full.

The Dublin City Sheriff said it was planning to execute a district court warrant from April 29, which Ms Redmond said she knew nothing about.

"I was hoping and praying because I was none the wiser, that they'd give me a bit of leeway. I had no notice of April 29, if I knew about this date I would not have put myself in this position," she said.

"Why they're evicting me, is beyond reason. I've never been in this situation before, I don't think I've deserved to be thrown out."

Ms Redmond said that on Wednesday she went to a homelessness charity in anticipation of the planned eviction, before ending up in a hotel.

"I spent six minutes in that hotel room, and I didn't know if I was going to come out alive or in a box. My seven-year-old was pleading with me to go home.

"A girl in there said she was 16 years' homeless. How she did it is beyond me.

"This corner I'm in I can't fight it. I've no way out of this situation. I know now I've no way out. The only thing that can save me is the sheriff himself."

She has since returned to her home waiting for the eviction to be carried out. At least two dozen neighbours were outside the property yesterday in support of Ms Redmond, which she said shows that she "has done nothing wrong".

The Office of the Dublin City Sheriff did not respond when contacted by the Herald.

Arrears

A spokesperson for Circle VHA said that they not comment on individual cases.

"Circle VHA is a registered charity and an approved housing body that has been providing high-quality social and affordable housing to families and individuals for more than 15 years. We always explore all possible solutions when faced with any situation involving our tenancies," they said.

"As a socially responsible organisation, we operate at all times in line with company policies and legislative processes."

Yesterday evening after the family spoke to the Herald, and after this paper made contact Circle VHA, a family member said they had since been informed that the eviction is taking place as a result of €900 in rent arrears.

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