Anti-eviction protesters gathered at Dillon’s Cross this evening in support of residents in the apartment blocks on Old Youghal Road who have been served eviction notices.
Tensions are high after eviction notices were served to the residents so refurbishments could take place. A deadline of July 19 was put in place. The residents say they are facing homelessness if they have not found new places to live by then.
The protest was attended by approximately 40 people, including some of the residents at risk of losing their home, members of the Solidarity Party, and concerned locals.
Led by Cork City North-East candidate Carol Brogan of the Solidarity Party, the crowd chanted: “Homes for people, not for profit” and “No evictions”.
One of the residents facing eviction, Brendan Keane, fears the alternatives for him if he has to leave his apartment in July.
“My only option is to houseshare and I’m 42 years old, so house-sharing is not an option,” he told The Echo. “No man at this stage in their life should be expected to live with strangers.
“My next option for me I’m being told is in a bed and breakfast, or Simon, or St Vincent’s, I’m not prepared to accept that. Come July 19, if I don’t have something sorted, I’m going to be living there and [the landlord] will have to go down whatever legal route he has to go down, that’s the next step.”
Whatever happens, Mr Keane said they won’t go away without a fight.
“We’re not going to take this lying down, we’re going to make this as hard as possible,” he said.
Ms Brogan told The Echo that, as well as protests, the residents now need to see where they stand and submit their appeal to the Residential Tenancies Board.
“I think the residents need to get their ducks in a row,” she said. “They need to see legally where they stand properly, our office has huge experiences with people who are evicted into homelessness and we’re going to sit down with them and dot the i’s and cross the t’s and see where they stand and bring in their appeals to the RTB.”
The eviction notice was served by a new landlord who took over the property after the death of the previous owner, who passed away last October.
A relative of the previous landlord, Joyce MacCarthaigh, attended the protest and urged people to support the residents.
Choices Property, the agency dealing with the apartments, confirmed the eviction notices earlier this month but said it could not make any further comment.
“Due to GDPR legislation, we are not in a position to comment,” read a statement from the firm. “However, any tenant who has a grievance can refer the matter to Residential Tenancies Board.”