Mill Street Projects want to Evict the People of St Helen’s Court in Dun Laoghaire? Where is the Bluffer FF Darragh O Brien? Come out, and Help these People in the middle of a Pandemic?

Posted by

You’ll have to drag us out’ — Dún Laoghaire residents due to be evicted this week say

19th April 2021

A group of tenants who are due to be evicted this week say the only way they’ll leave their homes is if they are ‘dragged out’.

The nine residents who remain living at St Helen’s Court in Dún Laoghaire have collectively decided to stand their ground following a four-year battle with their corporate landlord.

Some have lived in the 26-apartment complex for almost 20 years, including sick, elderly people and a child with special needs.a man standing in front of a fence: Tony Geraghty, a resident in St Helen’s Court, Dún Laoghaire, who says he ‘will not be put out on the streets’. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie Tony Geraghty, a resident in St Helen’s Court, Dún Laoghaire, who says he ‘will not be put out on the streets’. Pic: Fran Veale

The tenants were contacted last week by a representative from property company, Mill Street Projects Ltd, who explained they face eviction this Friday.

This follows the lifting of the eviction ban, which ended after the 5km travel restriction was relaxed.

If forced to leave their homes, the residents fear that they will be left homeless due to a lack of affordable housing in the capital.a man standing in front of a building: Seán Mitchell said that the Government need to stand up to ‘vulture funds’ once and for all. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie Seán Mitchell said that the Government need to stand up to ‘vulture funds’ once and for all. Pic: Fran Veale

Tony Geraghty, 64, who pays €800 per month for his one-bed apartment, told the Mail: ‘We’re in a very serious situation now.

‘We want to make it clear that we’re not leaving as there is nowhere else for us to go.

‘We’re not going to put ourselves out on the streets just because some vulture fund wants to sell our homes.a man standing on a sidewalk: Tony Geraghty, 64, who pays €800 per month for his one-bed apartment, said: ‘We’re in a very serious situation now’. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie Tony Geraghty, 64, who pays €800 per month for his one-bed apartment, said: ‘We’re in a very serious situation now’. Pic: Fran Veale

‘The county council can’t give us anything because there just aren’t any properties available.

‘There’s a serious shortage of affordable apartments in Dublin and to find a suitable place to live during a pandemic is almost impossible.’

Mr Geraghty, who has been living in St Helen’s Court for the past ten years, said he suffered a stroke a number of years ago, which he claims was stress-induced.a man standing in front of a building: Mr Geraghty, who has been living in St Helen’s Court for the past ten years, said he suffered a stroke a number of years ago, which he claims was stress-induced. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie Mr Geraghty, who has been living in St Helen’s Court for the past ten years, said he suffered a stroke a number of years ago, which he claims was stress-induced. Pic: Fran Veale

‘It’s absolutely shocking that the Government are letting them get away with this,’ he continued.

‘There were 11 other people living here who eventually left because they couldn’t take the threats of eviction any longer.

‘We’re at the end of the line now, but the only way I’m going to leave next week is if they drag me out. They’re going to have to get a court order and a judge to determine what should be done.’

Six of the apartments at St Helen’s Court were originally owned and let by businessman, William Donnelly.

The remaining 20 were sold to Apollo Global Management and Deutsche Bank in 2016. Acting on behalf of the owners, PwC attempted to increase the tenants’ rents by up to 50% just days before the rent cap was enacted.a man and a woman standing on a sidewalk: Seán Mitchell and Tony Geraghty, residents of St Helen’s Court, Dún Laoghaire, who are facing eviction. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie Seán Mitchell and Tony Geraghty, residents of St Helen’s Court, Dún Laoghaire, who are facing eviction. Pic: Fran Veale

However, the increases were prevented by the Residential Tenancies Board. PwC then sold the 20 apartments in February 2019 for approximately €4million to Donegal-based Mill Street Projects Ltd.

The new owners attempted to evict the tenants claiming substantial refurbishments were needed last year. They later withdrew this notice to quit shortly before an appeal against it was due to be heard by the RTB.

But just over a month later, eight tenants received correspondence from the owner saying they say they are selling the apartments.

The remaining tenants believe this is an attempt to get around the ‘Tyrrelstown Amendment’. Under this amendment, landlords cannot serve eviction notices to ten or more tenants of the one housing development at the same time.

Another tenant, Seán Mitchell, told the Mail that the Government need to stand up to ‘vulture funds’ once and for all.

‘All these guys are interested in is getting us out anyway they can,’ he said.a man standing on a sidewalk: Tenant Seán Mitchell says he has nowhere else to go. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie Tenant Seán Mitchell says he has nowhere else to go. Pic: Fran Veale

‘I got a call from a Mill Street Projects representative who informed me that I had to leave my home next Friday.

And when I told him I had nowhere else to go, his reply was “well, that’s hard luck”.

‘I can’t find anywhere else to go, it’s impossible. I’m a taxi driver and my work has been decimated due to the pandemic. The council say it’s trying tofind us an alternative accommodation, but they don’t seem to have anything.’

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, has said there is an ‘urgent need’ to extend the protections for tenants against evictions during the pandemic.Richard Boyd Barrett wearing a blue shirt: People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, has said there is an ‘urgent need’ to extend the protections for tenants against evictions during the pandemic. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, has said there is an ‘urgent need’ to extend the protections for tenants against evictions during the pandemic. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

‘I have been raising the issue facing the tenants of St Helen’s court repeatedly with the Government and I have told the minister [for Housing Darragh O’Brien] on numerous occasions that evictions would soon follow once the 5km limits were lifted,’ he said.

‘These tenants are unbelievably worried, including pensioners, children and people living with a disability. With a massive waiting list of approximately 5,000 families and individuals waiting up to 16 years for a council house these tenants face a very real prospect of being homeless over the next few weeks.

The Housing Minister needs to take his head out of the sand and his Government need to bring in robust protections for tenants immediately during the pandemic, but also, more generally, to protect tenants against unjust evictions at any time,’ he said.

The minister’s department was contacted on Friday but did not respond for comment.

Efforts to contact Mill Street Projects for comment were unsuccessful at the time of publishing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s