'terrifying' | 

Man facing eviction says ‘I’d like to ask Leo where he expects someone to live on €247 a week?’

‘It’s €1,800 for a bedsit in Portobello, €1,600 for one in Kimmage, and €1,100 for a room available in this area’

Amy DonohoeIndependent.ie

A man facing eviction from his home of 13 years said the situation is “terrifying” for him and his wife.

James O’Toole and his neighbours in Tathony House, Dublin 8, are protesting for protection after their landlord decided to sell the building.

“I’ve been in Tathony House for 13 years. We’ve paid around €130,000 in rent,” he said, ahead of their latest protest against the planned eviction.

“We have no security, you’ve to keep throwing money down that black hole. We’ve paid all that money and now we’re being kicked out.

“The situation with the landlord is exactly the same. He still wants everyone out next year and he’s still intending to sell the place.”

James has been working with his neighbours in the hope they can stay in their homes.

“We want to keep people there as long as possible, there’s a lot of fear with the state of the rental market. If the building is sold with us staying here, the new landlord might want to rebuild at the site.

“Our priority is to keep everyone in their homes at Tathony House and not have anyone handing themselves into emergency homeless services,” he said.

“There are lone parents, pregnant women, and there’s nowhere for them to go. That’s our message to the government and the council. Tenants don’t have rights in this country, sale is not a fair reason for eviction.

“When you’re put in such a terrifying situation it brings out the worst things like stress. You lie in bed at night with butterflies in your stomach not knowing what’s going to happen, where you’ll be next year.

“I’m dreading the idea of moving. We’re all talking about looking on Daft.ie, and it’s terrifying. I don’t understand how people are coping.

“It’s €1,800 for a bedsit in Portobello, €1,600 for one in Kimmage, and €1,100 for a room available in this area, it’s a bed where you can reach over to the kitchen. I saw another room with just a microwave.

“Every time we protest people are very positive and it makes us feel very determined. A terrible situation like this brings out some of the worst emotions but people want to fight this and stay together.

“We might have to leave Dublin, but if I went to the likes of Naas, I work near Croke Park. How will I get there? It’s not so easy to move out of the city when you’re tied to a job.

“There’s a lot of fear and stress, a lot of us are terrified of what will happen,” he added.

With rent continuing to rise in the capital, it’s going to be difficult for residents of Tathony House to find an alternative, and affordable, place to live.

“We’re nervous we’ll end up homeless or miles away from where we work. Rents are rising by 14pc a year, where the hell are we going to be by the end of next year?

“It’s not good for your mental health. There’s psychological stability to having your own space, a place where you can relax.

“From January 1, I’ll be on €247.50 a week. I’d really like to ask Leo Varadkar or Michéal Martin where they expect someone to live in modern Ireland on that money,” he added.

“We’re in an absolute crisis. People are working to survive.”

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