THE WEST Limerick man who began an impromptu protest against the threat of eviction from his home last year has reached another landmark in his ongoing stand-off.
Seamus Sherlock marked 150 days since he barricaded himself and his family into their home in Feohanagh with a rally of over 100 supporters, neighbours and friends last Sunday evening.
Mr Sherlock’s long-running campaign to resist eviction from his home by Bank of Scotland has continued to gather international coverage, as he was featured last week in a photographic essay on austerity in Europe in The New York Times.
“It’s great for myself and the children to get that kind of boost and see so many people coming down. There’s bitter cold these days, but we still have anything from eight to 12 lads on the gate,” Mr Sherlock said this week.
Since his campaign began last August, Mr Sherlock’s property has become home to dozens of anti-eviction protesters and sympathisers from across the country. Round-the-clock pickets have been held at the entrance to his property, while the roadside has been adorned with banners, flags and placards of support for Mr Sherlock’s cause.
The campaign has had several highs and lows, from the visits of Mattie McGrath TD, former MEP Kathy Sinnott and musician and conspiracy theorist Jim Corr to articles in the national press labelling Mr Sherlock as a “serial defaulter” who has had four court judgements issued against him over unpaid debts.
Mr Sherlock said that he received a surprise call from another high-profile supporter just before Christmas.
“I got a call off of Christy Moore. He rang me up out of the blue and said that he’d be round to us soon. For ordinary people like us, that kind of call is a huge boost.”
Mr Sherlock has remained steadfast in his hope that a deal can be reached with Bank of Scotland over his €430,000 mortgage. He said that negotiations between the bank and his solicitor remain ongoing this week, and that he is “hopeful” that all parties are moving closer to an agreement.
Mr Sherlock said that he is lucky to be able to rely on a “steady core of support” in recent weeks, despite the cold and wet winter. His supporters have been sleeping in donated heated log cabins.