Press Release: Minister Darragh O’Brien Failing Families In His Own Constituency

People Before Profit Rep for Swords, Ollie Power, says that the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien needs to act immediately to prevent multiple families in Applewood being evicted by the corporate landlord LRC/Jersia. 

Minister’s Irrelevant Responses 

Ollie Power says, “The minister’s responses to our recent Parliamentary Questions suggest that he has either not read the questions or is simply ignoring the plight of the families and children facing eviction:   

Firstly, he says that renewed tenancies are now of unlimited duration, but the minister knows that the landlord can outright refuse to renew a tenancy without giving a reason!

And that is precisely what is happening to these families and children in Swords now. 

Secondly, the Minister lists two tenant-in-situ and two tenant purchase support schemes that do not apply to these families because as far as we know this landlord doesn’t want to sell; its entire business model is based on the extraction of rent on a permanent basis from those least able to pay it.

Minister failing families

The Minister could have offered to meet the families. He could have indicated a willingness to engage with Fingal County Council and the landlord to buy the properties. He could have summoned the landlord to account for its actions. He did none of these things. He is failing these families and children. 

One resident, Jekaterina, who’s facing eviction says “I have always paid my rent. I work hard, providing for my child and my elderly friend who lives with us and is recovering from cancer. It is a disgrace – we have nowhere to go. What is an elderly lady suffering from cancer supposed to do? Go to emergency accommodation?”

Action needed

“The minister must take steps to ensure that these families and children in his own constituency are not evicted for greed.

Minister O’Brien must reinstate the eviction ban immediately.

Fingal County Council and the Minister must communicate as a matter of utmost urgency with the landlord in relation to buying these properties.  

Solidarity Rally

Ollie Power says “The minister could learn a lot about action from the residents facing eviction who, alongside the Community Action Tenants Union, are holding a solidarity rally to support tenants facing eviction on the 24th August 2023 in Applewood at 6PM. 

People Before Profit fully supports this solidarity rally and we call on the community to stand with their neighbours.