Tyrrelstown residents to march on Dáil to demand action on 'vulture funds'
Tyrrelstown residents will march on the Dáil tomorrow as many await to be evicted from their rented homes.
Members of the newly formed Tyrrelstown Tenants Action Group are demanding more assurances and urging Government action against so-called vulture funds.
Hundreds of tenants at the west Dublin estate face eviction once their leases expire.
Dozens of residents have so far received letters from Twinlite, telling them they would have to vacate their homes once their leases run out. They also have an option to buy the properties.
The developer behind the Tyrrelstown estate in west Dublin insists he would be an "idiot" if he didn't regret how tenants there have been told by his firm that they must either buy or leave their homes.
Rick Larkin, a director of the Twinlite construction company that built the homes, tried to reassure tenants in a weekend interview that they "will not be put out on the streets".
But he said while he sympathises with residents, he maintains that they must have known that at some point their homes would be sold.
"I'm sure, from their perspective, they don't think that is fair," he told the 'Sunday Business Post' yesterday. "And I completely understand that and sympathise with them. But the fact is, they came in and signed a one-year lease and renewed it every year.
"They have to, in some part of their mind, know that the day may come when their houses could be sold."
He added: "At the end of the day, that property belongs to us, and we can't be in a position that we're being told we have to hang on to it indefinitely, just because it suits someone else. We are a business, not a charity."
Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger, who is supporting the residents, responded: "I have to admire the honesty of that comment; it shows the bare face of capitalism in action.
"Some people have been living in the area for 15 years, why should they have to move?"
Twinlite manages the homes that are rented at the estate. The homes were sold in 2008 to a company called the European Property Fund (EPF), which then leased them to tenants. EPF's portfolio at Tyrrelstown includes 103 houses, 53 apartments and 30 commercial units.
EPF's shareholders are Rick and Michael Larkin.