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'New Land League' insists family eviction is unlawful


John Martin from the New Land League at Gorse Hill

John Martin from the New Land League at Gorse Hill

John Martin from the New Land League at Gorse Hill

The group which has prevented homes from being repossessed by banks says the O'Donnell family are "no different" from any other family threatened with eviction.

Several members of the self-styled 'New Land League' arrived at the home on Gorse Hill yesterday after the O'Donnell family had "asked for help".

Group spokesperson Jerry Beades - a former Fianna Fáil National Executive member - said the eviction "was like any other" despite the O'Donnells once owning a property empire.

"The reason the Land League became involved was the O'Donnells' son was involved and came to some of the Land League's meetings. "It's like any other eviction," Mr Beades said.

"When the Land League was first formed, there were big farmers thrown off land as well as small tenant farmers. They all stuck together. He said it "doesn't matter" that the O'Donnells were both professionals who had amassed a massive fortune.

"There are professionals who are homeless. The issues are the same. Whether you owe €50,000 or €5m, the issues are the same.

"Where we step in is where we see illegal and bad behaviour by banks and this is absolutely atrocious. I don't think, in anything we have been involved in, we've gone too far wrong."

The group came to prominence after it stormed a distressed property auction by Allsop Space held in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin in July 2013.

It also campaigned following the eviction of Martin and Violet Coyne from their home in Castleknock, west Dublin. The husband and wife were dubbed the 'pyjama couple' as they were locked out of their home after their landlord fell behind on repayments, and attended court in their nightwear.

In total, the group says it has prevented the "unlawful eviction" of 10 families who are still living in their homes today.

The group alleges banks are operating illegally because a different legal entity within a bank to the one that lent the money was pursing the family.

In relation to the O'Donnells, he said the group would look at the ruling today with the family before deciding on their next action.

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