Crowds gather in Strokestown to protest against forced evictions

Approximately 1,500 gather for Strokestown protest

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Crowds gather in Strokestown to protest against forced evictions

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy speaking at the recent Strokestown protest.

Up to 1,500 people gathered in Strokestown on Sunday, December 23, to call for an end to forced evictions.

The crowds gathered following the forced eviction of the McGann family from a farmhouse in Falsk, near Strokestown.

Speakers at the protest included Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy and Independant TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Also read: Strokestown family subjected to forced eviction critical of An Taoiseach and 'condemn all forms of violence'

The eviction, which took place on Tuesday, December 12, sparked outrage across the country and attracted the attention of the national media, following vigilante action at the house in the early hours of December 16.

The attack on the house resulted in the injury of eight members of a security team that was occupying the property at the time, as well as the burning out of a number of vehicles and serious injury to a dog, which had to be put down afterwards.

Two men were arrested and a number of vehicles and firearms were seized as part of the garda investigation into the alleged criminal damage and assault.

The men, aged in their 50s and 60s were later released and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Investigations are also being carried out into a number of arson attacks on various KBC Bank branches around Dublin City.

In light of the events, Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy called for a stand against forced evictions.

Read more: Two men arrested following incident in Strokestown released without charge

Speaking from Brussels a few days before the protest in Roscommon, Matt Carthy said that what happened in Strokestown was appalling and should never happen again to any other family.

“It’s time to take a stand for family homes, for renters and for everyone affected by this government’s housing chaos,” he said.

“The banks and the vultures have for too long been given free rein by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“It is clear that it will require a broad coalition of ordinary people and communities to defeat the alliance of bankers, landlords and the political establishment.

“That is why Sinn Féin will be on the road from early January meeting with communities with a view to setting up anti-eviction campaign groups.

“Enough is enough – it’s time to take a stand to stop evictions. I urge everyone to get active in the campaign.”

Read next: 'Time to take a stand against evictions', says Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy