“People have nowhere to go and that’s not being dramatic, that’s the truth. People have nowhere to go.”
Those were the words of Aimee O’Riordan, one of the residents of the Leeside apartments facing eviction this winter.
The Leeside Apartment Action Group was out in force outside the Leeside apartments on Bachelor’s Quay yesterday evening in a bid to prevent a mass eviction from the property.
All residents have been issued with notices to vacate their homes, with some residents facing eviction days before Christmas.
“It’s a community here,” said resident Mark Williams who has lived in the Leeside apartments for four years and has been told to vacate by January 5.
“Fair enough, the owners are trying to get their money’s worth but the way they’ve gone about it is totally wrong.
“I’m more worried about the families than myself, the people with kids, where are they going to go?” Residents are demanding that the Government introduce legislation to outlaw mass evictions on the grounds of refurbishment.
“Obviously the loophole needs to be closed and the fact that some residents have been threatened with eviction is, in particular, a disgrace,” said Cllr Mick Nugent.
The Taoiseach weighed in on the matter at the Dail debates on Wednesday saying that he condemns providing an eviction notice in the run-up to Christmas.
“I read something about the Leeside apartments in the newspapers but I do not know all the details and I am loath to comment on something I am not fully informed about,” said the Taoiseach.
“With landlords in general, it is particularly cruel to seek to give somebody a notice to quit or an eviction notice in the run-up to Christmas.
“I absolutely condemn that,” he added.
“At the very least, if the apartment block genuinely needs refurbishment, I am sure it could be left until the new year and the people living there could be given adequate and reasonable time to find new homes.” ‘They came and said they were going to offer me somewhere to stay while the renovations were being done but all they were really offering was a recommendation, which they have to do anyway,” revealed Ms O’Riordan.