Evicted family say they are 'scapegoats'
A family evicted from their council house for rent arrears fear they will be forced to seek emergency shelter through the Health Service Executive if they cannot return to their home of 16 years.
Christopher Moore, (47), his wife Ann (51) and their three children said they were thrown on to the street clad only in pyjamas when bailiffs evicted them from their council house in Loughlinstown, south Co Dublin, on Saturday.
Now the family -- who staged a protest outside the offices of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council yesterday -- fear they may have to apply for emergency shelter if they can't be reinstated in their home.
They are staying with relations nearby, but will be meeting with a solicitor today to see if they have any legal recourse.
"We're basically homeless," Mrs Moore told the Irish Independent.
Mr Moore, a construction worker, has been unemployed for some time and is receiving just €111 in social welfare benefits a week. His wife works part-time at a nursing home and her wages are used to support the couple and their children, aged, 17, 22 and 24.
People Before Profit councillor Richard Boyd Barrett organised the protest outside the council offices to protest against what he said was the appalling treatment of the family.
About 60 protesters turned out to support the family. Mrs Moore said she felt they were being made scapegoats by the council, which appeared to be cracking down on people who fell behind in their rent.
They fell into arrears of more than €13,000 over a number of years on their €99 weekly rent. They owe more than €10,000 due to unemployment and other "family difficulties".
"We have been trying to pay what we can. Since last year we've paid back €3,500 in arrears," Mrs Moore said.
The council refused to comment on their plight last night, citing data protection issues.