Representatives of the residents held a press conference in Dublin yesterday alongside homelessness campaigner Fr Peter McVerry. Local politicians Mick Barry TD and Cllr Fiona Ryan, Solidarity, and Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Sinn Féin, were also present. Mr Barry raised the issue in the Dáil yesterday afternoon.
At a meeting in the city, residents decided to appeal the RTB's ruling, which came last Friday. They can appeal the decision of the adjudicator to a tribunal within the RTB, at a cost of €85 for each of the eight original eviction notice appeals. Residents have set up a Go Fund Me account to raise the €680 needed to appeal.
Aimee O'Riordan, a resident of the apartments, said that they are taking a stand for themselves, but also want to create a national debate on evictions by vulture funds.
"We are continuing the fight to stay in our homes. Also, we are stepping up our campaign against unjust evictions by vulture funds for purpose of financial gain and will continue to put pressure on the government to regulate the private rental market and protect tenants rights," she said.
She said that yesterday's press conference was an effort to widen the debate on this issue, and thanked those in attendance for their support.
Mr Barry raised the issue yesterday evening under questions on promised legislation. An attempt by him and Sinn Féin's three Cork TDs to raise it under topical issues was rejected.
Mr Barry said that Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy promised him earlier this year that he would introduce legislation to strengthen tenants' rights if the Leeside residents had their appeal rejected.
Meanwhile, Green Party representative Oliver Moran said now was the time for a referendum on the right to housing and action on vacant properties
"Rents in Cork continue to rise by 8% year-on-year. The average is rent in Cork is now close to €1,200 per month. And reports today show the average house buyer in Cork needs an income of €50,000 to get a mortgage. Where are these people to live.
"The rights of property owners are put ahead of people needing homes to live in. We need a referendum to rebalance the constitution and put the right to a home ahead of the rights of landlords who are out to evict ordinary people for their own greed and selfishness," he said.