TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has intervened in the plight of 150 people facing eviction from an apartment complex in Limerick City after he was told that they were subjected to illegal and intimidatory tactics by their landlords.
The issue was raised in the Dáil on Tuesday by Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea who told Mr Martin that 60 families, comprising 150 people, had been ordered from their homes at the Shannon Arms apartments in Henry Street.
“Even though these people have taken their case to the Residential Tenancies Board, the landlords are employing intimidatory and illegal tactics to force them to leave their homes,” Deputy O’Dea claimed.
“The tactics include sending in heavies to change the locks unilaterally and ordering people to get their furniture together and get out on the street within 30 minutes. Some of those tactics have worked and some of the more vulnerable people have actually left.
“The Taoiseach will be aware that these tactics are not only reprehensible and immoral, but highly illegal and reminiscent of the behaviour of the absentee landlords during the great Famine of the 1840s.
“This is not the 1840s and I ask the Taoiseach whether the Minister for Housing can be requested to assist those people against this modern form of Rachmanism,” Deputy O’Dea concluded.
Stating that he would ask Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to intervene, the Taoiseach said that the kind of behaviour highlighted by Deputy O’Dea was not tolerable and “should not be tolerated in this day and age.
“I will ask the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with the Residential Tenancies Board to intervene”.