Thursday 22 March 2018

Land League members irate at O’Donnell link

Gerry O’Boyle of The Land League (right)
Gerry O’Boyle of The Land League (right)
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

The Land League group which assists people facing home repossessions has admitted that its support of the O’Donnell family in their Gorse Hill battle left some members annoyed.

Gerry O’Boyle of Land League West accepted that supporters and members of the wider public were unhappy with the group for supporting the family.

However, he insisted the group would continue to support all families at risk of losing homes regardless of what their circumstances were.

“With Gorse Hill, it was a different league of people we were dealing with and I know people were annoyed about the support for a family who know the law inside out, but we’re not going to discriminate.

“I personally stand for the small person in the West of Ireland, but as a group we will support all people,” he said.

Mr O’Boyle said the attention on the Gorse Hill saga had led to many families facing repossession studying the case.

“At the end of the day, it was not rocket science what the O’Donnells were doing. They did what they could to save their family home.

“People are now studying the O’Donnell case because they think this could be them in the next year and they want to know their options,” he added.

Mr O’Boyle said that most of those his group supports are families who can’t even afford a solicitor but insisted it wouldn’t discriminate simply because the O’Donnells’ home was more lavish than others.

“People built homes according to the wages they had at the time. But I’m not going to turn away a family with a nine-bed home who are facing losing their home. At the end of the day, it’s still their family home and we will treat everyone equally,” he added.

Mr O’Boyle said Land League West is currently dealing with several hundred cases where people are at risk of losing homes. He said the numbers calling the group for support had grown dramatically in recent months.

He said he hoped Brian O’Donnell would now use his experience to assist other families in need.

“We hope he will help us in the future. This is all about people standing together and we hope Brian O’Donnell will come down and join us,” he added.

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