The new heavy gangs
The new heavy gangs


Masked gangs are now evicting people from their homes in the 26 Counties at the behest of international vulture funds, who have ordered a wave of repossessions to extract profit from their newly acquired loan books.

Earlier this month, unidentified men - who hid their faces from cameras as they arrived to execute an order to repossess a home in Corofin, County Clare - were confronted by members of the Anti-Eviction Taskforce, resulting in an extraordinary stand-off.

The homeowner, Tommy Collins, managed to stay in his house and on Monday he joined a demonstration against home repossessions outside a number of banks in Ennis.

Describing the incident, he recalled: “It was just shocking like I didn’t expect there was going to be heavies to drag me out of my house or anything like.

“It was really terrifying that day. I was above up in a room upstairs just trembling with fear.”

He said pressure from the Bank of Ireland for mortgage repayments after he lost his job had left him unable to cope with the stress and had caused him to attempt suicide.

Brian McCarthy from the Anti-Eviction Taskforce, who organised Monday’s demonstration, added: “Daily we deal with people who are in the level of distress there that Tommy is in and an awful lot of them are suicidal.”

Last week Ulster Bank announced that it would be selling over 2,900 of its customers’ mortgages to “vulture funds”, the latest in a series of moves by Irish banks to offload their bad debts to international capitalists who seek a quick profit by evicting the indebted homeowners and reselling their properties.

Anna Flynn, who bought a home in Gorey, county Wexford, had her loan transfer first to state-run Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, and then to a vulture fund.

“I was given no real notice that it was being sold and I was certainly given no chance to buy it at anything close to the same rate the fund had paid,” she says.

“Once I was with the vulture fund they did not want to know. Basically they were saying repeatedly, ‘We don’t care, we just want the arrears to be paid off in full or we want the house’.”

She became seriously ill and was hospitalised for weeks after surgery.

“I was completely adrift and they were absolutely impossible to deal with. I couldn’t seem to get anyone to talk to me or to help me. Then I was served with eviction papers. I would never be the type of person to expect something for nothing and I would hate people to think of me as a victim.”

Tens of thousands of families face being evicted by the vultures. The newly-created Dublin Tenants Association has called for new laws to stop them from forcing families out of their homes.

DTA spokesman Patrick Bresnihan said: “This is not a natural disaster. The reality is government policy has been to facilitate vulture funds at every turn, without any research into the impact of international funds on the Irish housing system.”

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