Couple ordered to leave their home fear prison

Coynes say they have nowhere else to live with limited resources

Martin Coyne (72) appeared in court today in relation to an order to he and his wife Violet (61) to vacate their rented home of 15 years in Carpetenterstown, west Dublin. The house is now being repossessed by a receiver. Video: Bryan O'Brien

Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 01:00

A couple who have been ordered to leave their home of 15 years have said they fear a court appearance today could lead to their imprisonment.

Violet (61) and Martin (72) Coyne had been renting their house in Carpenterstown, west Dublin for €800 a month but their landlord went into receivership in 2012. ACC Bank, with whom he had a mortgage, appointed receivers KPMG who subsequently issued the couple notice to leave their home by March 2013 to clear the way for its sale.

Since then, the Coynes have been fighting their removal from the property, insisting they cannot find a viable alternative for the same rent and have no more money at their disposal.

The pair have a combined weekly income – through Mr Coyne’s State pension – of €363 and are entitled to a rent allowance of €700 a month.

Mr Coyne said: “If we are not out of here by midnight tonight, which we won’t be... [the judge] will write an order for the [Garda] superintendent to go up to the house and arrest us.”

Mr Coyne said this would result in their detention but they have nowhere to go. Mrs Coyne will not be in court today as she is suffering from stress, he said.

“We are not eating and as regards sleeping we are twisting and turning all night. It’s a rotten time altogether.”

Unrealistic

Originally €1,100, their rent had been reduced to €800 a month but they say properties in the area are now typically rented for between €1,400 and €1,600.

They say they have been unable to secure local authority housing having been on the list for the past four years and the option of a place in a hotel or hostel is unrealistic given their age. The receivers, who stopped accepting their rent cheques in December 2013, brought the Coynes to court where they have appeared on four occasions before Ms Justice Jacqueline Linane, without legal representation.