THE plight of a west Limerick farmer who has lived behind a barricade at his home since being issued with an eviction order in August is now attracting international attention after the BBC and a Belgium TV channel travelled to his farm to over his story.
Almost seven weeks since receiving an eviction order after falling behind on his mortgage, Seamus Sherlock and his family are continuing their standoff against their bank in a mini fortress at their home.
Mr Sherlock says that, since being served with the eviction notice on August 17, he has had no correspondence with Bank Of Scotland, who initiated the proceedings. Fearing the arrival of bailiffs to serve the eviction notice, he and his five children are living behind barricades they have erected at the entrance to their farm in Feoghanagh andare continuing to receive overwhelming support from locals and supporters from Kerry and further afield.
Last week, news teams from BBC Northern Ireland and a Belgian TV station were in Feoghanagh to cover the story, which shows no sign of coming to a conclusion. It is expected the BBC footage will air this Wednesday at 6.30pm, but that may be subject to change. The Belgian TV crew, meanwhile, are filming a documentary about the debt crisis in Iceland, Ireland and Greece which is due to be screened next month.
Mr Sherlock, a separated father, says he made a number of offers to Bank of Scotland to try and repay his outstanding €250,000 debt - including pledging an annual 'five figure sum'.
This week, Mr Sherlock told The Kerryman that the situation is becoming increasingly difficult as time passes, but insists he will not be moved. He paid tribute to all who continue to visit his farm and stay overnight to support his family and made special mention of his children who he says are trying to return to normal life despite the threat of eviction hanging over them.
"It will be 50 days this Friday that we have this hanging over our heads, but the kids are holding up well and going back to school, work and playing sport. They must be under horrendous pressure but they're not showing it." he said. "All we can do is wait but we will not be broken. We will stay strong."
As well as the hundreds who continue to visit the Sherlock farm each week, close to 3,000 people have also pledged their support on Mr Sherlock's facebook page, urging him to continue his fight.
One facebook supporter encourages the family to ' keep up the good fight,' another tells him to ' hang tough' while another insists that the family ' keep strong'. Another supporter described Mr Sherlock as 'an inspiration to a lot of people', telling him: "People are starting to stand up for themselves because you have shown the way."