Roscommon-Galway TD calls for all parties to reflect on the situation and to take part in constructive negotiations

Some comments made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have been labelled “ill-timed” and represent “a lack of compassion and understanding for situations in rural Ireland”.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “While the Taoiseach is correct that violence will never solve anything, it was also remiss of him not to remember back to last Tuesday when innocent people were beaten by so-called security personnel carrying out an eviction.

“As details of some of the people who allegedly carried out the eviction emerged today in the newspapers – especially in the Irish Mirror – questions must be asked in relation to the type of personnel that banks hire for security services.

“I think that the Central Bank needs to carry out a full review of all the banks that it gives licences to in relation to the protocol that is required in these situations.

“In listening to an ex Sheriff in Dublin over the last number of days on the airwaves, a lot of disparities are evident when you compare the protocol outlined by the ex-sheriff and the protocol followed in Co. Roscommon.”

Negotiations

The independent TD wished to reiterate his view that the only way to resolve a situation like this is through negotiations or if there is a legal issue that can be challenged by people trained specifically in that field.

Continuing, he said: “It is my opinion that where people encounter financial difficulties, the best way forward is through negotiation.

“In this particular situation, we must also be mindful of two siblings who have lived in this house for over 60 years and who obviously weren’t taken into account by the bank when this eviction was ordered.

“I visited the house last night (Monday, December 17) and spoke to the family. There were a lot of neighbours and friends there to support them as well.

“A number of people – some with family connections in Co. Roscommon, but who are now living in Dublin – contacted me on Sunday night and all day yesterday and offered to help the family in Strokestown; these are people who are trained in the legal profession and who are skilled negotiators when it comes to distressed loans.

“It is my duty as a public representative to pass on those contact details and messages to the family, and to give them space to decide if they want to avail of those services that were offered.

“With just a week to go until Christmas, I would ask everyone to reflect on the situation – especially as this is meant to be the season of good will and a time for coming together with family.

“I would implore KBC to reflect on the situation, and I hope that the different professional people who offered help get involved and work towards resolving this matter.

“Everybody knows that before you can negotiate on someone’s behalf, you must get authorisation under data protection from the people concerned.

“I think it is now time to give space to everybody to reflect on what they want to do. Let’s hope that 2019 will be a better year for this family, as I feel that they have endured a lot of distress over the last week and will want to put this ordeal behind them,” he concluded.

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