McGann family want peaceful protest against forced evictions – Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, today met with members of the McGann family from Strokestown who were last week subjected to a forced eviction from their home.
Speaking afterwards Matt Carthy said:
“Today I met with members of the McGann family from Strokestown. Their family have been neighbours and friends of my own paternal family for generations. They have found themselves in the centre of the public limelight – somewhere they never expected nor wished to be.
“They have asked me to make some remarks on their behalf.
“The McGann’s have again expressed overwhelming gratitude for the support they have received from the public since the ordeal of their eviction but again reiterated their desire for privacy. They have also requested that the media refrain from publishing non-verified and incorrect reports regarding their personal finances. While they themselves do not want to enflame the speculation they are adamant that reports suggesting that they have not engaged with KBC bank are untrue. On several occasions, the family tell me, they had made offers of repayment schedules to the bank which were always refused.
"While thanking all those who have offered support to their plight they wish to state that the issues regarding the treatment by banks and vulture funds towards families who find themselves in financial distress are much greater than themselves. They therefore welcome all peaceful campaigning that brings attention to this important issue.
“They are further aware that a protest march is planned for Strokestown this Sunday. They thank the local people who have organised this event and welcome the support pledged to this mobilisation.
“However they have stressed that this, and any other event organised with reference to their ordeal, be conducted in a peaceful and unobtrusive manner. They do not want any activity to take place that would cause hindrance to the local community or businesses at any time, but particularly so close to Christmas recognising that this is an important time in the retail calendar.
“Finally they stress that any protest organised with reference to their case should be community led and not ‘hijacked’ by any organisation with ulterior motives. In particular they wish to distance themselves from any reference to imitations of the ‘yellow-vest’ or alt-right movements. The Irish people have a proud history of resisting forced evictions, a history that has been marked by community-led and people-centred protests. The McGann’s feel strongly that it is in line with this tradition that government policy and the oppressive actions of banks and vulture funds will be addressed”.