Hundreds take to streets in protest at forced evictions

Over 700 people have taken part in a protest in Co Roscommon calling for forced evictions to end.

It comes weeks after a private security firm evicted an elderly family from their farm near Strokestown.

The incident sparked a major police operation after a number of people were taken to hospital with injuries and a dog with the security personnel was killed.

Two members of the family have since moved back into their home.

People attend a protest in Strokestown against the handling of a high-profile eviction (Brian Lawless/PA)

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Strokestown on Sunday where a number of public representatives addressed the crowd.

Padraig A’Tailliura O Conghaile, from protest group Glor na Tuaithe (Rural Voice) said the public had been left angered at the forced evictions.

“People are really angry at what is happening and this is definitely the start of evictions,” he said.

“The people are very angry about what the Government is doing to them. We must stand firm and the only way we will win is through people power.

“We elected these people in and we can get them out. We paid off the bankers and yet they have thrown these people out of their homes.

“There are thousands of homes in Ireland at risk of being taken over. It’s scandalous.”

This is only the tip of the iceberg what happened here, it's a national issue

Speaking to the crowd, local councillor Ivan Connaughton said: “I am here to stand with the people of Strokestown and the people of Roscommon and Ireland.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg what happened here, it’s a national issue.

“I am asking the representatives in Dáil Eireann to stand with the people of Roscommon and Ireland.

“They need to implement legislation to ensure no person has to leave their home or farm in this country.”

Dan Hoban, from Republican Sinn Féin, said he had not “lost faith” in the Irish people.

“I am proud of you all here today in support of the McGann family,” he said.

“When a crowd came in to this town a short time ago and moved in to the McGann home and forcibly removed them on to the road, it was no crime scene then, but a fortnight after when people went in to reinstate the McGann family it was deemed a crime scene.

“The power of the people is going to win in the end.”

- Press Association

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