Killiney eviction raised in Dáil


The eviction of a couple from their home in Killiney, Co Dublin, yesterday has been raised in the Dáil and prompted a protest at the Dublin City Sheriff's Office.

Gardaí and bailiffs removed Brendan Kelly (71) and his wife Asta (63) from their home at St Matthias Wood, Killiney, Co Dublin around lunchtime yesterday.

A video taken by a neighbour and posted on YouTube shows the couple being removed.

The couple had fallen behind on their mortgage payments, issued by the institution previously known as Irish Nationwide Building Society.

The couple pitched a tent outside their home and slept in it last night.

St Matthias Wood is an exclusive cul-de-sac development of five luxury detached homes situated off Church Road in Killiney. It was built in 2004 by Castlepark.

The couple had operated a successful business in Germany, selling Irish textiles to German holidaymakers, under the brand-name Irland Haus.

At one point, they owned two shops in the exclusive north German island resort of Sylt, and another on the shores of Lake Tegernsee in Baveria.

However, in the late 1990s they decided to sell the business and return to Ireland, investing their money in the Irish property market.

They built a sizeable portfolio of properties, owning several houses in the greater Dublin area.

The couple purchased their Killiney home shortly after it was constructed in 2004 for €3.2 million, with the aid of a €2 million mortgage from Irish Nationwide.

The property is on the market with an asking price of €2.2 million.

Speaking to RTÉ radio this morning Mr Kelly said although the couple were aware the bailiffs were coming, “no circumstances justified” the manner of the eviction.

“The Government have said that they will go out of their way to make sure that people stay in their family homes. This sort of behaviour by a Government-owned bank does not make that claim credible”.

Mr Kelly denied that he was aggressive towards the bailiffs carrying out the eviction. He said he was a landlord by profession and rented quite a number of “good quality” properties around the city.

He said the mortgages on these properties were held by Permanent TSB and Bank of Scotland Ireland.

Asked why they had not sold properties from their portfolio to meet their debts, Mr Kelly said it was practically impossible to sell a property at the moment. The couple met their financial advisers today.

Speaking to radio station Spin 1038, as bailiffs representing the bank entered her home yesterday, Ms Kelly (63) said she and her husband had had trouble paying the mortgage.

In a statement to The Irish Times last night, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, with which the building society has merged, confirmed it had served a repossession order on a house in Killiney. It said it could not comment on individual cases but “a full legal process” had been followed.

Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald told the Dáil today while this eviction was only receiving media coverage because of the location of the house, it was symptomatic of the housing crisis.

Tánaiste and local TD Eamon Gilmore, described images of the eviction as “distressing” and said although the Kellys had not been in contact with him, he was seeking further details on the case.

A small number of Occupy Dame Street protestors staged a sit-in at the Dublin City Sheriff's Office this afternoon in protest at the eviction.