Tuesday 18 June 2019

Locals back eviction rally

Local politicians support anti-eviction rally

Flags at the Anti-Eviction Protest rally in Strokestown on Sunday 23rd December
Flags at the Anti-Eviction Protest rally in Strokestown on Sunday 23rd December
Valerie McNulty, Ballyshannon, Cllr Declan Bree, MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and Sligo Community Activist Corey Whyte. Pics: Brian Farrell
Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy is confronted by a heckler after the deputy had addressed the crowd
Activist Maura Harrington

Sorcha Crowley

County Councillors Chris MacManus of Sinn Féin and Independent Declan Bree were among several Sligo activists who travelled to the Strokestown rally in Roscommon to protest against the controversial eviction of the McGann family from their home before Christmas.

Up to 1,500 people attended the mostly peaceful rally on Sunday 23rd December. Tensions arose when local Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy was heckled by the crowd.

Cllr MacManus told The Sligo Champion afterwards that "banks and vulture funds can no longer be given free rein."

"This eviction of the McGann family in Roscommon has highlighted the completely unregulated nature of receivers and people employed to enforce evictions," he said.

"The events in Strokestown have struck a chord with people the length and breadth of Ireland. Such callous behaviour in the lead up to Christmas has served as a reminder of the all too frequent evictions happening in every parish and county in Ireland.

"It's time to take a stand for family homes, for renters, and for everyone affected by this government's housing chaos.

"Public anger is rising at the constant Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil enabling of banks, these modern day bailiffs, and the vulture funds to act as they like.

"In the last week alone, they have decided to pay over €270 million to junior bond holders in Anglo Irish Bank. That's where this government's loyalty lies, to banks and to vulture funds, not to the ordinary people who paid up that money in the first place.

"It will require a broad coalition of ordinary people and communities to defeat the alliance of bankers, landlords and the political establishment.

"We in Sinn Féin will work with communities with a view to setting up anti-eviction campaign groups. Enough is enough - it's time to take a stand to stop evictions," he concluded.

Independent Councillor Declan Bree said he was "privileged to be present in Strokestown ... to show solidarity with the McGann Family and to let the suits in the KBC Bank and their hired thugs know that people will not tolerate families being evicted from their homes and thrown out on the roadside."

Local election 2019 candidate Corey Whyte also joined community activists at the rally. "There was a fantastic crowd gathered to send a clear message that the violent scenes of eviction are immoral, cannot continue and clearly communities will not stand silent when their neighbours are suffering," he said.

Sligo Champion