THE eviction of a Naas family was stopped at the last minute last week when a High Court stay was put on the order.
Ian Fitzgibbon and his wife Geraldine, along with their two teenage children had been due to be evicted from their Kerdiff Park home last Tuesday at 1pm. However shortly before the eviction was to take place Mr Fitzgibbon went before the High Court and sought an adjournment of the proceedings.
The High Court was told that the owner of the family home had secured a new job and would soon be in a position to cover the €335,000 owed to ACC Bank.
The court had heard that Mr Fitzgibbon, a former employee of ACC Bank, had fallen behind on his mortgage repayments to his former employer after he was made redundant by the bank in 2008.
In granting the three-week stay on the eviction Judge Tony Hunt said he was taking into account that Mr Fitzgibbon had given an undertaking that if proposals he was submitting to the bank were not accepted, he and his family would surrender the house voluntarily.
Shortly before 1pm on Tuesday Kildare County Sheriff Eithne Coughlan came face to face with a large group of protestors when she went to the house. Ms Coughlan told the protestors that she wished to speak with Mr Fitzgibbon. However she was told that Mr Fitzgibbon was not at the property and was at the High Court. Ms Coughlan was asked to leave and prior to her departure from the area she explained that she had no knowledge of Mr Fitzgibbon’s appearance at the High Court.
One of those who protested at the house was Helena Davis from Athy Against Water Charges and she said that the protest was peaceful.
“Three of us travelled from Athy to Naas after we saw it posted on the Hub Facebook page that the eviction was to take place. The Hub is a group of people who are assisting people who are threatened with eviction. There were approximately 20 to 30 people at the house when Eithne Coughlan arrived
“We believe that nobody should be taken out of their family home and we are totally against the way it has been done. Banks are going into courts and a person in the courts is rubber stamping these judgements. The person who is rubber stamping the evictions is then arriving to carry out the evictions, this is totally wrong.”
Ms Davis said that nobody is looking to get a house for free and she said all family home evictions should cease.
“It’s not right that people are evicted from their family homes full stop. People are afraid and sometimes it is easier to bury your head in the sand and ignore the letters instead of standing up and fighting to keep your home. People who aren’t engaging with the banks are only doing so because they have had months of bullying and threats from the banks. Nobody is looking to not pay their mortgage and get a free house. If there is an attempt to evict this family again we will be there to support them because it’s not right that people are put out of their homes.”
Prior to news of the stay emerging from the High Court members of the Land League and Right2Homes groups said they were preparing to video the eviction and place the video online.
Several videos of the protest and Ms Coughlan’s were posted on line.