Saturday 21 October 2017

'Inhumane, greedy' - Viewers react angrily to documentary on Ireland's property crisis

The Sadlier family who appeared on Ireland's Property Crisis - image RTE
The Sadlier family who appeared on Ireland's Property Crisis - image RTE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A documentary on Ireland's property crisis has sparked outrage among viewers, with many describing it as a "depressing" watch.

The first installment of 'Ireland's Property Crisis' aired on RTÉ One on Monday night and offered a snapshot of those at the front-line of the housing crisis.

The show revealed that there are currently 77,000 houses in mortgage arrears and 91,000 people on social housing waiting lists.

Many people described the show as "upsetting and depressing" viewing, with others lashing out at the Government.

Some of the people who featured in the documentary included IT worker and Trinity College graduate Colin McSweeney (45), who is now homeless.

He revealed how he works in a library but each day he also has to find a bed for the night after the firm he worked for folded and he could no longer afford rent.

He was working in the IT sector in a firm based in Tallaght but when the company folded he found himself unable to pay his rent.

He spoke about waiting for the call all day to let him know if he will have a bed for the night.

Sometimes he was forced to spend the night in Dublin's only 24-hour Starbucks in the city centre.

Colin later appeared on Claire Byrne Live and Housing Minister Simon Coveney offered to speak with him off-air about his situation.

People watching were outraged at Colin's story and praised his composure and dignity as he battled homelessness.

The show also looked at a single mum of two, Selena, who is trying to find a home before being forced to vacate her current home on Easter Monday.

Meanwhile, the Sadlier family are trapped renting a house and paying a mortgage on an apartment they bought ten years ago which is no longer suitable for their family.

Widow Anna, whose home was at risk after her debt was sold onto a vulture fund, was told following the show that she would be able to stay in her home.

People were also incensed by insights into the rental market with people forced to compete with dozens of people at viewings and a look at an apartment in an upcoming development, complete with a fold out bed in the living area.

People watching at home were quick to point out similarities to the previous property bubble here, questioning if Ireland had learned anything.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney this week denied that we are careering toward a repeat of the Celtic Tiger when the boom and bust of the housing market forced the country into a deep downturn.

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