THIS week, while the thoughts of many children across the county are focused on their impending return to school, one 14-year-old boy is more concerned with whether he will be turfed out of his house by bailiffs after an eviction order was served on his family over the non-payment of the mortage on their home.
It is nothing short of tragic that the heartbreaking story of the Sherlock family - dad Seamus and his five children - is a very real and terrifying one for so many families across the country, with latest figures indicating that one in five Irish households is now falling behind with their mortgage repayments.
After several appeals to the bank for extra time to pay his debts, Mr Sherlock and his children have now taken to barricading themselves into a mini fortress in an attempt to secure their home.
They are receiving enormous support from neighbours, friends and anti- eviction campaigners from across Kerry, Limerick and the country at large, all willing to stand with them to fight the eviction.
While there is no arguing that banks have a job to do and are entitled to have their debts repaid, it is a sad day indeed when a family is in such a state of desperation that they opt to take refuge behind barricades in a last resort to save their home.
It is dreadful to think that children, as young as 12 in the case of the Sherlock family, are going to bed at night wondering if or when the bailiffs will arrive and where they will go if they lose their home. No one, especially innocent children, should ever have to bear such a terrifying burden.
Like so many other families across the county, Mr Sherlock's debts began to mount when he lost his business. And like most, he is not asking for his debts to be wiped away - just for more time to pay them back.
With more families than ever before now in trouble meeting their mortgage repayments and therefore facing the possibility of eviction, it's time for our politicians and financial institutions to carefully consider how best to take a compassionate and humane approach when dealing with people in this dire situation. While some moves have been made by the government in terms of debt forgiveness for those who are unable to pay their mortgages, more needs to be done - and fast.
This problem is not going to go away and throwing parents and young children out on the side of the road is certainly not the answer.