Families face eviction from their homes in the Curragh Camp in County Kildare.
The Department of Defence has served the eviction notices, on fifty-four householders living in army houses in and around the Curragh, County Kildare.
Those ordered to find alternative accommodation include the elderly and families with young children. The Department of Defence say the former soldiers or families of former soldiers known as ‘overholders’ were only allowed to reside in the barracks accommodation while they were in service. They now need the properties for serving members of the Defence Forces.
Resident Rita Dalton says,
There was no forewarning at all, just told to vacate the premises.
Another resident Mick Conroy is disgusted the overholders have not been offered alternative accommodation as many of them have nowhere else to go.
Annie Purcell and her soldier husband Tom moved into married quarters on the Curragh Camp as newlyweds and raised a family there. However following her husband’s death, Annie was unable to buy her home of 46 years as she was not a serving soldier.
Gerry Rooney of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association union says the action is insensitive and unreasonable. Defence Minister Michael Smith disagrees saying his Department has been very patient and incredibly generous over those years because rents and electricity bills were not paid.
There are six hardship cases among the 54 households facing eviction and the Department say these will be treated with compassion. However the notice to quit will be followed up by a follow up eviction notice threatening legal action.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 September 2002. The reporter is Flor MacCarthy.