A family of eight who were evicted without notice in Bundoran, Co Donegal, this month have until Friday to find accommodation or face sleeping on the streets.
Gabriel and wife Gerciliane, and their six children, aged 9, 6, 5, 3, 2 years, and 11 months, were evicted without warning from the house they were renting two weeks ago by their landlord and three men.
They were told their children could be taken from them and that the father would be arrested for burglary. He was also accused of stealing and taking drugs.
Speaking to theon Monday afternoon, Gabriel said the family will have to present at the Brazilian or Portuguese embassies in Dublin if they cannot find somewhere to stay by Friday.
“My wife and I are sending emails and making calls to numerous agencies for help. I can say that my family and I just come to this country because I, especially, love the culture, the weather. I love everything in Ireland.
Gabriel, who is Portuguese, was working up until last weekend at a hotel in Donegal. His boss has given him three days off this week to find accommodation but he will not be able to keep his job if he cannot find a home.
The strain on his young family is starting to show, he said. Two of his young daughters have become extremely clingy since the night they were evicted. Gabriel himself cannot watch back the video footage he took because he finds it so upsetting.
The couple and their children are currently living in one room in a friend’s house in Sligo but have been told they need to leave by Friday.
Fine Gael councillor Sinead Maguire said that “if it hadn’t been for the goodness of the Sligo family, Gabriel would have been without accommodation for the last two weeks.
"I have also made contact with the chief superintendent and forwarded videos to him about the lack of Garda intervention in that situation,” said Ms Maguire.
Footage 'absolutely shocking'
Fine Gael TD for Sligo/Leitrim/South Donegal Frank Feighan told thehe found the video footage “absolutely shocking".
“I’m still beside myself with rage that somebody could do that. I’m shocked that people could be treated like that. It’s obvious people think they’re above the law. It’s obvious what was done was illegal. I’ve contacted the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of it,” he said.
“Do people think they’re above the law? The law has to be respected. I’m pursuing a few lines to see what exactly happened."
Mr Feighan said he had also raised the family’s plight with the local authorities in both Donegal and Sligo with a view to helping them source alternative accommodation by Friday.
“We’re trying to assist them in every way. I want to get this resolved,” he said.