Tuesday 12 December 2017

'They just told us to leave' - Couple evicted in nightclothes before court bid

Violet & Martin Coyne outside the Four Courts Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Violet & Martin Coyne outside the Four Courts Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

AN elderly Dublin couple - still in their nightclothes - were today evicted from the house they have been renting for 15 years after the banks repossessed it from their landlord.

There were emotional scenes outside the property at Luttrell Park Drive in Carpenterstown as Martin and Violet Coyne stood helpless while the locks on their home were changed.

The couple were due in the High Court today in relation to an order for eviction.

"I begged them, for Christ's sake, please let me in, at least have the decency to put our clothes on," Martin said this morning. "Surely they don't expect us to appear in court before a judge in our nightclothes?"


Violet (61), who was still in her dressing gown and slippers, was being comforted by neighbours and supporters, while Martin (73) said he barely had time to pull a shirt and trousers on and had to borrow a jumper from a neighbour.

"There was a ring on the door at around 7.30am and when I answered it there were about five men outside telling me to vacate the property," Martin told the Herald.

"We are due in court today over this and I didn't even get a chance to get the paperwork I need off the kitchen table, they just told us to leave," he added.

"I've nothing. Everything is inside in the house. Even the keys of the car are in the house. They are even changing the locks, we can't get back into the house."

Violet said they got no notice that the County Sheriff would be acting today.

"All our possessions are inside, I was not even given a chance to get dressed," she said.

"Now I have to go to court in my nightclothes."

The case centres on a repossession order instigated by ACC Bank because the owner of the house went into receivership in 2012 and it wants to sell the house to reduce its debt.

Martin and Violet say they have not been able to find anywhere else to live and will have to declare themselves homeless with Fingal County Council.


Mr Coyne said that three representatives from the County Sheriff's office, along with a number of gardai asked them to vacate the property today.

Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger was supporting the Coyne family today.

"The banks have no respect for people living in rented homes who cannot find an alternative place to live because rent allowance is not accepted by so many landlords," she told the Herald.

Martin and Violet were then driven to the Four Courts by a relative, with Violet sitting in the back of the car in her nightclothes.

The couple are still without legal representation as they are awaiting a response from the Legal Aid Board.

Their breakfast this morning was a pot of tea and some toast prepared by neighbours and given to them on a tray in the front garden of the house.

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