Wednesday 29 March 2017

Widow owing €1.2m takes bank protest on road

Conor Kane

A WOMAN who owes €1.2m to a bank and fears her home will be repossessed has set off on a journey by horse from Tipperary to Dublin to highlight her plight.

Widow Margaret Hanrahan has already seen ACC Bank seek repossession of her two parcels of land at Burncourt and Kilcoran -- both near Cahir in Co Tipperary -- and is now afraid her home is at risk to make up any shortfall of her €1.2m debt.

So far the bank has not managed to sell any of the land formerly owned by Mrs Hanrahan but there have been expressions of interest.

The 58-year-old mother of two borrowed the money to extend her equestrian centre at Burncourt during the boom years, but since the economic crash she has been unable to meet the mortgage payments.

She left home on her protest trek on Saturday and hopes to arrive in Dublin on Wednesday, where she will protest outside Leinster House about the banks' treatment of customers who find themselves in difficulty.

"The whole thing is to try and get people to realise that we're in serious trouble as a country and a people, but not to be afraid. This is not just my problem, this is the country's problem," she said.

Risk

She said that she "took a risk" but will be paying the consequences for years.

"Right now, I'm penniless. I'm still living in my house, but probably that won't last either. I own the house but the bank have said they'll repossess it because of the shortfall between what I owe them and what they'll get for the land."

She accused the bank of using "bully-boy tactics" to repossess the land but hopes her actions this week will remind others in debt that all is not lost.

Irish Independent

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