Mayo will be first 'Eviction Free County', says campaigner

A group of anti-eviction campaigners who were formerly part of Land League West say they now plan to open a drop-in centre in Castlebar to help families facing the loss of their homes.

The group has renamed itself Eviction Free County and is led by Gerry O'Boyle, who was an Independent candidate in last year's Roscommon South Leitrim by-election.

Eviction Free County is holding a launch event next Thursday (May 21 ) at 9pm in the Dalton Inn, Claremorris.

A number of music acts will perform at the launch, tickets for which cost €10, and Eviction Free County is also launching a wristband and T-shirt campaign, which they hope will raise funds for their work.

Mr O'Boyle said Mayo is the first county in which they are launching but they plan to start a branch in every county in Ireland.

"We are going to bring this right around the country," he said. "We are campaigning for an eviction free Ireland, particularly when it comes to family homes.

"We plan to help families, and businesses and farmers, to use the right mechanisms to protect their homes and property from repossession."

Mr O'Boyle said people facing evictions and repossessions will be able to access free, professional advice on their financial issues at the new Castlebar drop-in centre, which is expected to open in June.

He said he is departing from the strategy of holding high profile demonstrations at courthouses where repossession orders are being heard.

"We highlighted the issue but now we are focussing on delivering the goods when it comes to protecting families," he added.

"There is no point in us being outside protesting when people are losing their homes inside. We are going to concentrate on helping and supporting people through the system."

Mr O'Boyle said Eviction Free County will have its own PIP (personal insolvency practitioner ) who is a debt specialist and will be able to help families navigate the complex system of insolvency and other finance related court proceedings.

For more information, contact Gerry O'Boyle on (086 ) 2190609.

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