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Thursday 2 October 2014

Mortgage row farmer barricades family in home for Christmas

Barry Duggan

Published 24/12/2012 | 05:00

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18/08/2010 Seamus Sherlock from Newcastle West, Limerick protesting in chains outside ESB, HQ on Merrion Square, Dublin.Seamus is being threatend with disconnection by the ESBPhoto: Gareth Chaney Collins

A FARMER and his five children whose home is under the threat of repossession will be barricaded into their farm for the Christmas holidays.

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On August 16, Seamus Sherlock, pictured, blocked the main driveway at his farm in Feohanagh, Co Limerick, after he was served with a repossession notice by Bank of Scotland because of outstanding mortgage repayments.

More than 125 days later, neighbours and supporters of the Sherlock family have maintained a round-the-clock vigil to guard the 50-acre property.

Mr Sherlock and his five children – Dermot (22), Bernadette (19), Briget (18), JJ (15) and Mary Kate (13) – continue to live at their home.

"I have no choice but to stick it out. It is very simple, I have nowhere to go," he said.

"I'm very proud of my children – they are standing their ground here with me."

The farmer says he is more than willing to pay off his debt of €400,000-plus, including interest.

"The bank has not come back to us at all. We have a five-figure sum lodged with the family solicitor – we just want to pay our way," he said.

"We are not looking for anything for free. I have 10 years left on my mortgage. If I got another nine years (from the bank) we could pay our way."

A donated log cabin equipped with beds, mattresses and heating forms the sentry post for those keeping vigil.

"We cannot thank people enough – I can't get over the support we are receiving," he added.

A bank spokesperson said: "We do not comment on our banking relationships with our customers."

Irish Independent

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