A COUPLE with three children under eight have spoken of their torment as they face losing their home over mortgage arrears.
Martin (36) and Claire (40) O'Sullivan face eviction despite offering to make reduced repayments to their sub-prime mortgage lender.
Almost 100 protesters prevented the sheriff from enforcing the eviction order yesterday at their Ashdale, Dun an Oir home in Kanturk, Co Cork.
"It is really difficult. It has been a total nightmare and we just don't know what is going to happen," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"This was our dream home. We never in a million years thought we would find ourselves in a position like this."
The couple say they don't know where they will live if they are forced out.
"We are glued to our seats because we just don't know what is going to happen. But we take great comfort from the fact so many people have travelled here to try to help us."
The couple bought their home seven years ago and then remortgaged with Dublin-based firm Smart Mortgages.
Mr O'Sullivan lost his plumbing job almost three years ago and since then the family has struggled to meet their mortgage commitments.
The family was buoyed when almost 100 protesters from the Anti-Eviction Ireland Taskforce and Independent Resistance Ireland gathered outside the home from 9am yesterday to frustrate the eviction order.
A sheriff attended the property at lunchtime yesterday but did not attempt to enforce the order given the number of people present.
A spokesman for Start Mortgages was unavailable for comment.
By Ralph Riegel