Repossession applications for 219 Limerick homes expected to spark protests

Repossession applications for 219 Limerick homes expected to spark protests

By David Raleigh

A large protest is expected outside Limerick Courthouse tomorrow, where more than 200 home repossession applications are listed to be heard.

The first case, of a total of 219 applications for possession of residential homes by various lending institutions, is expected to start from 10am.

Limerick solicitor Ger O'Neill - who represents some of those facing eviction by the banks - said one female client has suffered a nervous breakdown due to financial pressure.

He said the current system whereby banks have effectively a veto on all proceedings in repossession cases is not the way forward.

In calling for a "radical change in policy", Mr O'Neill added, "definitely there has to be new proposals. I don't think (that) a veto, which gives one side an absolute right to say 'no' to progress, can ever really be a solution."

He described how some of his clients were under threat by lending institutions acting in a heavy handed way.

"There hasn't been activity in this area for some considerable time and it seems to be all gearing up now. The bottom line is that a lot of people are being put under a lot of pressure. I am acting for couple, where there has been a cutback in working hours to both husband and wife; they both work. Due to pressure from a lending institution, the mother and wife has had a (mental) breakdown. This has affected her ability to earn, and when people are put under that huge amount of pressure, what can they do?"

Mark Keogh, a member of the Irish Democratic Party, is one of the organisers of planned protests due to picket outside Limerick Court calling for a "sustainable solution" to the mortgage crisis.

Fianna Fáil TDs Willie O'Dea and Niall Collins are to attend the court proceedings to show solidarity with the public who will have their cases heard.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described as unconstitutional Fianna Fail's recent failed motion to enshrine a Bill seeking the scrapping of the bank veto.

"It was reprehensible to see the Labour Party walking into the Dáil and voting down the Fianna Fáil motion to take the veto away. The (system) is not working," said Deputy O'Dea.

Mr Keogh said he expected between 70 and 100 people to attend the protest including members of The Hub and the Lay Litigation Ireland groups.

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