A family of eight evicted without warning in Bundoran, Co Donegal, more than two weeks ago has made a statement to the Garda.
Theunderstands that a garda travelled from Bundoran to Sligo during the week to meet the family and took a statement from Portuguese father of six Gabriel Lopes.
They also sought copies of shocking video footage which Mr Lopes filmed on the night in question, showing the landlord and three men entering the rented house from front and rear entrances, changing the locks, and bagging up their belongings.
Gabriel and his Brazilian wife Gerciliane were told that their six young children, aged 9, 6, 5, 3, 2 years, and 11 months, could be taken from them, and that Gabriel would be arrested for burglary and accused of stealing and taking drugs.
The family could not find any accommodation in Bundoran and had to travel south to Sligo, where a woman offered them emergency shelter in one room in her home. The family had until Friday to find alternative accommodation or face sleeping on the streets.
I’m very, very grateful, it’s very, very good news,” said Mr Lopes.
He is a history teacher by profession but is working in a hotel near Bundoran, while Gerciliane is a Portuguese language teacher in her home country but works as a cleaner here in Ireland. They now hope to enroll their children in school locally.
“Education is very important for us,” he said.
Fine Gael Councillor Sinead Maguire, who has been helping the family since their eviction, has welcomed the Garda investigation.
“Their policy needs to be recirculated at all Garda stations so they are aware of their own policy in relation to evictions and if it had been adhered to it would have prevented the family in Bundoran from what they had to endure,” she said.
Sligo-Leitrim Independent TD Marian Harkin also called for an “immediate” Garda investigation into the eviction.
“It cannot be that without a court order people can be evicted and nothing is done. If that’s the law then we need to change it.
"We need to see consequences. What happened was unacceptable but 99.99% of Irish landlords would not do what was done in Bundoran. It was awful to watch,” she said.