Couple threatened with eviction have 'nowhere else to go'
Pensioners Martin and Violet Coyne are living in fear of a knock on the door from the sheriff.
Despite being given a five-week adjournment on their court date yesterday, the couple say they could still be evicted if the county sheriff executes a court order for possession of their rented property.
They are due to reappear before the courts when a judge will determine whether to commit them to prison on contempt of court charges after they failed to vacate their home by midnight on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night from their semi-detached house in a quiet housing estate in Carpenterstown, west Dublin, Martin (71) and Violet (61) said they face prison and homelessness.
"It's a stay of execution – that's all it is," Mrs Coyne said of Judge Jacqueline Linnane's decision yesterday to adjourn an application to commit them to prison until August 27.
The couple have rented the house for the past 14 years but were ordered by Judge Linnane to vacate it after mortgage provider ACC Bank appointed a receiver to sell the property from their former landlord Daragh Ward in 2012.
Although the couple were given notice by receivers KPMG to leave the house by March 2013, the couple have remained, saying there is simply nowhere else for them to go.
Mr Coyne, a retired builder, said the couple originally intended to stay in the house for less than a year until a plan they had to build their own home nearby – ironically through a loan with ACC Bank – fell through.
They continued paying their €800 monthly rent until KPMG stopped accepting it last December.
They have been searching since then for somewhere else to live but due to the massive shortage of rental accommodation in the capital and rents increasing by more than 25pc, the couple are stuck in limbo.
They applied for social housing through Fingal County Council but Mr Coyne said he was informed yesterday that it would be at least three or four years before they would get a place due to the huge backlog on the housing waiting list.
He will be meeting with the housing department again today to see if they can get a rental allowance.
But with rents in the area now exceeding €1,400 a month, the couple – whose combined pension income is just €363 a week – aren't holding their breath.
"There was a house for rent two doors down and there were 50 people queuing up outside to view it. It was absolutely frightening," Mrs Coyne said.