Evicted couple 'upset' at Ministers' comments
THE elderly couple evicted from their Killiney home have expressed their "disappointment" at remarks made about their situation by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
Retired landlord Brendan Kelly took flight yesterday with his wife, Asta, from the tent pitched outside their home in the exclusive St Matthias Wood development, having told a close friend of their feeling that the public mood had turned against them since the details of their extensive investment property portfolio had emerged.
Records held at the Deeds and Land Registry show Mr and Mrs Kelly as having purchased 21 apartments in Dublin's most sought-after areas and elsewhere in the Nineties and the last decade.
While a number of those properties have since been sold, the Kellys remain the registered owners of numerous apartments and have them let out to tenants.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent yesterday, the friend said: "They've gone off for the day to get away from it all. I spoke to them this morning and they were very disappointed at the Taoiseach's comments and by what Michael Noonan said.
"They just get the feeling that the mood against them is turning in a bad way. For Brendan, this isn't to do with how many investment properties he owns. He's upset that he and Asta have been put out of their home. That shouldn't happen to anyone, regardless of where they live."
While Mr Kenny described the Kellys' situation as "peculiar", Mr Noonan was far more direct and critical in his comments, saying: "The Government has pledged, insofar as possible, to keep people in their own homes. We have not pledged to keep people in 21 different homes and we must distinguish between people who can't pay and people who won't pay."
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, for his part, has been more supportive of the Kellys.
Expressing his surprise at the sight of agents for the Dublin County Sheriff in executing the repossession order obtained by the former IBRC (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation), Mr Gilmore said he had been "saddened and distressed" by the newspaper pictures showing the Kellys being removed from their home.
Mr and Mrs Kelly are constituents of the Tanaiste in Dun Laoghaire. As of yesterday, the Kellys' house was still being guarded by a security officer from CS Security, the firm engaged by IBRC to protect the property and prevent the couple from re-entering their former home.
Asked by the Sunday Independent if the bank had made any plans for the removal of the Kellys' belongings yet, the security guard said he didn't know before closing the door.