Friday 23 February 2018

Debt campaigner Beades goes for the Senate

Nomination: Jerry Beades claims he is a victim of abuse
Nomination: Jerry Beades claims he is a victim of abuse
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

The businessman and anti-eviction activist Jerry Beades is challenging Labour nominee Mairia Cahill for the Senate vacancy, claiming that he is also a victim of abuse and promising to donate his salary to help those whose homes have been repossessed.

In an open letter to Mairia Cahill yesterday, Mr Beades told her he was writing to her "as a victim of a terrible crime" and wanted her to "be the first to know" that he intends to seek a nomination for the Senate.

"As a silent victim of assault, also of a serious sexual nature, suffered at the tender age of 15 years, I can fully understand your anger and motivations," he wrote.

Ms Cahill campaigned against the protection of IRA child abusers after disclosing her own rape by an IRA man in a Panorama documentary last year.

She was nominated as Labour's candidate for the by-election for the Seanad's industrial and commercial panel last week.

Mr Beades said he plans to campaign on behalf of those who have been evicted and said he will give his salary to the Right 2 Homes group which is currently mounting a constitutional challenge to eviction laws.

He said David Norris, the independent senator, has agreed to nominate him for a vacant seat on the industrial and commercial panel. He needs eight other TDs or senators to back him.

Nominations close later this week.

Mr Beades is former member of the Fianna Fail national executive and was considered an insider in Bertie Ahern's so-called 'Drumcondra mafia'.

The builder and businessman is in difficulty with several banks and has become a serial lay litigant, taking numerous legal actions and challenges, some of which are now before the Supreme Court.

He founded the Land League, the group that occupied Gorse Hill, the former home of lawyer and developer Brian O'Donnell, which was repossessed by the bank.

In his open letter to Ms Cahill, Beades claimed that the vacancy on the industrial and commercial panel requires that a candidate have "relevant knowledge" and "practical" experience of industry and commerce.

He criticised "the failure of the Labour Party to honour their election promises and furthermore highlight their total mismanagement of housing policy over the last four years which has resulted in numerous bank-led family home evictions and an ensuing homeless disaster that has people currently living and dying on our streets."

He said he is also "actively attempting to help raise the €67,000 required to buy back a recently evicted blind man's home in Kells".

Mairia Cahill said last night that she" sympathises" with Jerry Beades and said he is entitled to go for election.

Sunday Independent

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