A number of weeks ago Saoradh was contacted by a former Republican Prisoner in Derry, who informed us that he was due to be evicted by the Housing Executive following the death of his brother, who also resided at the same address.
The former prisoner has attempted to negotiate with the Housing Executive in an attempt to retain his right to live at the address in which he has lived at for multiple years.
Having received no response from the Housing Executive regarding the eviction since initial contact was made, the Republican contacted Saoradh for assistance.
After contacting the Housing Executive and arranging a meeting with Gary Campbell, patch manager for the Bogside, we were informed the matter was being looked at carefully. Despite assurances from Gary that he would be dealing with the issue and that he would endeavour to stop the Republican being evicted he has avoided our queries as of late.
In a last-ditch attempt at saving face, Gary Campbell responded to a recent email with a list of excuses and informed us that the matter has been passed on to the legal department.
In light of this development, and with the consent of the former Republican Prisoner, we have no option but to publicly highlight this issue despite initially hoping to complete this matter privately.
In private we discussed with Gary Campbell the ongoing housing issues affecting working-class areas and made it clear in no uncertain terms that if necessary, Saoradh will take a non-violent stance against those who attempt evictions.
Saoradh representative, Paddy Gallagher had this to say, ‘’Saoradh held a multitude of meetings with the former Republican Prisoner before contacting the Housing Executive on his behalf. We informed them that if they attempt to evict the Republican then our party members will be on hand to stop this. It is 2018, the eviction of anyone, particularly former prisoners will not be allowed to happen. The Bogside is already an area that suffers from a high level of poverty and social deprivation, this threat of eviction is not only an attack on the individual but an attack on this community”
Saoradh will continue to monitor the situation and would like to point out that our party members, our supporters and our community will be ready to peacefully prevent any attempted eviction.
We would also like to thank our communities for their continuing support thus far, but we ask that you remain vigilant as this will only be the beginning of evictions by the ruling class.