A LIMERICK man who has barricaded himself into his home after he was threatened with eviction over an unpaid loan has said that an offer “is on the table” to bring the stand-off to an end.
Anti-debt campaigner Seamus Sherlock is entering the third week of his impromptu protest at the home he shares with his five children in Feohanagh, which began after he was served with an eviction notice by Bank of Scotland.
Mr Sherlock said that since his protest started on August 23, his solicitor has been in regular contact with the bank in a bid to bring about an end to the dispute. He claims that he has offered the bank a cash bond of €14,000 and a regular payment schedule thereafter, and that “this offer is still on the table”.
“My solicitor is in almost daily contact with them. He’s reiterated our offer and it’s still on the table. All I know is they’re considering the position”.
Mr Sherlock’s dramatic decision to barricade himself and his family into their house and 50-acre property has attracted national and international media attention over the past two weeks. His stance has been emboldened by a flood of volunteers from all corners of the island who have rallied to his cause and have set up camp alongside him.
Mr Sherlock said that over the past seven days local businesses have donated three portacabins and a 12-bed log cabin to house the growing numbers of volunteers who are arriving at his home daily. Supporters are maintaining an around-the-clock blockade of the property to ward off attempts to evict Mr Sherlock from his home.
“The people of County Limerick are showing me fantastic support,” Mr Sherlock said this Wednesday. “There’s a constant stream of food parcels coming out to us. We had a heavy blast of rain, but looking around me this morning there are 15 or 16 people still standing here, there’s a load more of them gone to bed since 8am this morning.”
Mr Sherlock took the decision to barricade himself into his home after receiving a letter in the post from the County Registrar’s office informing him that he was to be evicted from his home without further notice.
With the support of neighbours and friends he blocked the main gate into his farm with 40 bales of silage, while a second entrance gate on the main road was locked and a mini-checkpoint erected outside it.
Many of the supporters who are now camped on Mr Sherlock’s property had never met him before in person, but travelled to Feohanagh after learning of his protest and his work over the past two years with his ‘Life After Debt’ campaign.
“Everything here has been donated - the generators, the food, the cabins. An awful lot of people have gotten involved here one way or another”, Mr Sherlock said.
“Even in the past week a load of locals have come out, even for a few minutes, just to tell me to keep it up. I’ve found people coming out here, telling me their own stories about the difficulty they’ve been in. Some of it’s absolutely heartbreaking”.
Bank of Scotland has previously refused to comment on Mr Sherlock’s situation, stating that it does not comment on individual customers.