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People rally outside Tathony House where the tenants are facing eviction Sam Boal/
tathony house

'We have no intention of leaving': Tathony House tenants facing eviction hold another rally

Remaining tenants include a lone parent and healthcare worker, as well as a man receiving ongoing treatment for cancer nearby.

TENANTS OF TATHONY House in Dublin 8 have held another demonstration outside the building in protest of their impending eviction.

The 34 households were served eviction notices last October when the landlord decided to sell, but the remaining 15 households say they have “no intention” of leaving on the 2 June deadline.

Speaking to TheJournal ahead of the demonstration, tenants’ organiser James O’Toole said that there has been a “profound change” in the attitudes of the building’s tenants since the eviction ban was lifted.

He says people were “a bit nervous” at first, “but now everybody that’s left is really determined to challenge it because they realise they have no other option”.

“Myself and my wife were kind of leading the charge in terms of the campaign, but now we very much have all the tenants on the same page,” O’Toole said.

Some of those who moved out of the building have had to relocate to places like Meath and Dundalk as they were unable to find a home in Dublin.

Remaining tenants include a lone parent and healthcare worker, as well as a man receiving ongoing treatment for cancer nearby.

“We’re protesting to basically indicate to the landlord: Look, we can get 150, 200 people outside this block, so do everything legally,” O’Toole said.

Also in attendance today will be artist Spicebag who recently received attention for his reworking of a 1850 painting depicting a Famine-era eviction. Spicebag’s image shows present-day gardaí as facilitators in the eviction.

According to O’Toole, the piece was “spot on”.

“If your landlord goes through all the legal means … someone turns up at your door with a piece of paper and says ‘get out’, you’re off into homelessness.

“You say, ‘I don’t want to leave and I don’t want to go into homelessness’, then in that situation, [Spicebag’s] painting will come true and it will come true for a lot of families.”

The Tyrrelstown Amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act 2016 prevents landlords or property owners from evicting 10 or more units of their property, unless it would cause “undue hardship” financially by allowing the tenants to stay.

The building’s owner has availed of the hardship clause. The tenants have made a case to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) that the eviction is illegal, claiming that the landlord “hasn’t shown us any proof that he’s in hardship”.

The fear among Tathony House tenants is that, even if the RTB rule that the eviction was illegal, the landlord will issue new eviction notices in batches of less than 10 to get around the Tyrrelstown Amendment.

O’Toole added: “The shameful thing really is that in normal circumstances, people would have somewhere to go, but there’s no public housing … and the private rental market, as we all know, is chaotic.”

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