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Eviction Stopped by Bluebell Community

06/06/12

Earlier today (June 6) the people of Bluebell, Dublin, mobilised for a community protest which prevented a local family from being evicted from their home. As a bailiff from the Dublin City Sheriff’s office arrived with his Garda escort to take possession of Darren Byrne’s home, they were confronted with a crowd of up to 100 local residents who were determined to prevent the repossession from taking place. Confronted with such a sizable protest, the bailiff beat a hasty retreat from Bluebell.

Darren Byrne, a lone parent, raised two of his children in the family home where he has lived for the last twenty years. Like so many others, Darren and his family have become victims of the economic crisis and the greed of the financial institutions.

A plumber by trade, Darren has been out of work since November 2008. Following his redundancy Darren successively negotiated a restructuring of his mortgage repayments, but then found himself unable to make these repayments. When faced with the choice of paying his mortgage or feeding himself and his family Darren rightly opted for the latter.

Darren Byrne and his son

Despite Ulster Bank’s attempts to evict Darren and his family, they are determined to fight and stay in their home. In a great show of community spirit the people of Bluebell are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Byrne Family, and will continue to resist any attempt to force this local family onto the streets.

Speaking from Bluebell, éirígí Councillor Louise Minihan said, “Today’s protest was a great success with the local community turning out in large numbers to support the Byrne Family. The fact that upward of one hundred people gathered at the Byrne family home is testament to both the community spirit in this area and the high esteem that the Byrne family are held in.

“That the Dublin City Sherriff retreated in the face of today’s protest just goes to show the power of an organised and determined community. The Byrne family are determined to stay in their home and fight the repossession order. Today’s protest shows the local community is willing and able to stand behind them. For that the Byrne family and the people of Bluebell are to be commended.”

Supporters outside the Byrne home

Speaking in relation to the wider issue of mortgage arrears and home evictions Minihan said, “Tens of thousands of families across the country are now unable to make their mortgage repayments. An increasing amount of these families are now facing the very real prospect of eviction, something which often evokes feelings of shame, embarrassment and failure.

“In truth these people are the victims of a morally bankrupt system that considers people and their homes to be nothing more than commodities to be sold, bought and repossessed. It is the bankers, estate agents, landlords, judiciary and politicians that oversee this system that should hang their heads in shame, embarrassment and failure.”

Gardaí and bailiff decide against moving in

In conclusion Minihan encouraged other families to resist attempts to evict them, “The Byrne family are just the latest of a growing number of families that are refusing to go quietly into the night. They are an inspiration to families across the country who find themselves in similar circumstances. All working people are in this mess together. We have all been forced to pay for the bank bailout so why shouldn’t we come together again to fight evictions by those same banks?

“éirígí helped the Byrne family organise today’s protest and the community response was a powerful statement of intent. I have no doubt that other communities would respond in a similar way, but they can only do so if they are asked. We in éirígí are willing to do what we can to help families that find themselves in a similar position to that of the Byrne family, to assist them in building a community response to what is a community problem. Those who find themselves in such a situation shouldn’t hesitate to contact éirígí.”

 

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