Reader's Blog: Eviction of family from farm in Strokestown must be a wake-up call

We all thought evictions had disappeared with the demise of the English Landlord system but they have reared their heads in the most provocative manner in recent times.

What occurred in Strokestown, Co Roscommon, was one of the most sorrowful, cowardly and shameful incidents to have taken place on the island of Ireland since Black Jack Adair’s scourge of evicting tenants from his acquired lands on Donegal’s Derryveigh estate in April 1861.

This middle-aged farming family’s dignity has been abused in the most inhumane fashion.

Perhaps this will serve as a wake-up call to all those who cannot join the dots between what is happening in the midst of rural communities in every corner of the country, and those right-wing political groupings of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil who are using the electorate as expendable commodities to shore up banking profits.

Thank god for social media, because it brought the stark reality of how these two brothers and sister — Anthony, David and Geraldine McGann — were verbally abused and manhandled from their home

On this occasion, the hunters became the hunted when a group of well-intentioned citizens, became enraged at those whose moral compass is measured by a bunch of euros

or sterling, and decided it was pay-back time.

A flurry of TDs mainly Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil politicians rushed out condemning the retaliatory action with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar adding his two cents worth — ignoring the fact that it’s his Government’s methods of privatisation and their pursuit of capitalist ventures that provides the motivating factor in the fragmentation of community spirit and wellbeing across this Island resulting in homelessness and a spiralling rise in those seeking help from organisations like SVDP to put bread on the table.

The people who decided to take the law into their own hands should be awarded in recognition of their valiant efforts in protecting their neighbours in times of need. Hopefully we will witness further actions of community spirit in the future if need be.

James Woods

Dun na nGall

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