The Irish music community has always been tight-knit, perhaps drawn from a similarity in being left largely to its own devices, and that camaraderie has largely carried across genres. It’s extended to supporting one another at the most difficult of times, and unfortunately, this is another one of those occasions.
Way back in 2002, Steve and Liam from windings were in a punk band called The Poke. They covered vocals and drums respectively. Also in the band were Con (guitar/vox), Fiona (bass), and Mickey (guitar/vox). The Poke were a great band!
Recently, we were shocked and saddened to to hear that Mickey has got cancer. He’s going through treatment at the moment, and is keeping very positive. However, as you can imagine, this is a very challenging and costly time for Mickey, Fiona, and their two little kids Seamus (2) and Aoibhinn (6 months).
A ‘demo’ was recorded and released by The Poke in a very small quantity in 2002. It was called Eat, F*ck, Die, and it’s pretty damn good. It hasn’t been available anywhere since then, so we thought it’d be a nice idea to upload it to Bandcamp now, so folks can give a few bob and have a listen. All monies received will go straight to Mickey and Fiona’s PayPal to help out a small bit with their current situation.
Even if this isn’t your thing musically, we’d very much appreciate you sharing this post as far and wide as possible, we know that Mickey, Fiona and family will be so appreciative.
Available for streaming and purchase on a donation basis in the widget above.
It had originally proposed that where a landlord proposes to sell 20 or more units in a development – within six months – the sales would be conditional on existing tenants being able to remain in the property unless there were exceptional circumstances.
During a Seanad debate on this amendment, the number was changed from 20 to five.
Readers may also wish to note how director of advocacy Focus Ireland Mike Allen in January stated that “a third of families who are becoming homeless in Dublin are becoming homeless because their landlord has been forced to sell up“.
Further to this…
Last week, it was reported in Limerick Leader that up to 14 families renting apartments in Fisherman’s Quay, Grove Island, Limerick city are facing eviction after they received letters on Good Friday informing them that they had to leave their properties by different dates this summer.
The letters were issued by Kersten Mehl Property Management which has managed the complex for the past eight years. KMPM sent the letters on behalf of Munster Pensioner Trustees Ltd – a group which intends to sell the property.
This morning, RTÉ’s Brian O’Connell reported on the matter during the Today with Seán O’Rourke Show. He reported that aroundtenants in eight properties are affected.
“Anywhere up to about 10,11, 12 tenants could be affected in those properties. The notices were served by the new landlords of these properties. They are the Munster Pension Trustees Limited. So, at some point, these properties went into receivership. They were sold, this pension trust bought the properties. They bought, I understand, the 14 properties in a bundle for about €1.1million, I work out that’s about €75,000-€78,000 per property. So, now they’ve decided to sell eight of the 14 properties. They’re probably going to get on the open market between €100,000 and €120,000 for those properties and that will obviously reduce then significantly their outlay on the six properties that they’re going to hold on to. And this decision to sell is impacting on a mix of tenants I met from young families to pensioners.”
Mr O’Connell’s report included interviews with some of the tenants who have received these letters and Kersten Mehl, who has 40 years’ experience in property letting and whose company currently manages more than 900 properties across Limerick.
From the interview with Mr Mehl…
Kirsten Mehl: “We’re told there’s families, right? I looked at, who’s registered here among the eight units. So, you’ve got two couples, I don’t think they’ve children, you’ve two single people, so that’s three, and of the other five, they’re registered in a single person, only one person. So it’s not a question of turfing out families, but…”
O’Connell: “But you’re still turfing people out?”
Mehl: “No, we’re asking people. Basically, it’s fully within the rights of the owners to say we want the property and we want to sell it. Right? No tenant, no, no, let me finish this, Brian. No tenant, right, has a guaranteed right and was ever promised a guaranteed right by any agent or any owner that they could stay there as long as they wanted. You can look into the morality of it, right? But…”
O’Connell: “But you don’t think there’s anything being done wrong here, in terms of the morality of it, do you?”
Mehl: “Absolutely not and I’ll tell you why. Because, like, there’s hundreds of thousands of investors who had their mortgages increased while the market was retreating. I’ve no problem with the tenant legislation, I’ve no problem with the improvement in housing standards but there is no morality, right, in the way investors have been treated. I actually think that we’re on the cusp of large-scale selling. Now…”
O’Connell: “If it was your granddaughter in here, with her child, and got this letter in the door last week, you wouldn’t be happy about it.”
Mehl: “There’s plenty of things I’m not happy about but you know what…”
O’Connell: “But do you think it would be right then, in that instance, that someone who’d made a commitment, maintained the property here and suddenly, because somebody wants to make a few bob, and has bought into it, bought an asset that was in receivership probably, and now they can flip it, to hell with the tenants?”
Mehl: “But, like, there is other properties out there..”
O’Connell: “But isn’t the problem that there isn’t?”
Mehl: “There is because I tell you what. Since January, I have probably sent out 40 notices plus for individual owners that are selling. Owners are now departing the market, landlords are departing the market in a fairly significant scale because, you know what, the equity, we’re getting near the situation where they’re break-even and they’re out the door. Well, I would expect if it was my daughter and my granddaughter, I would expect my daughter to find alternative accommodation.”
O’Connell: “I’m going to be meeting some of the tenants now and you can imagine what they’re going to be saying. A lot of them are saying they’re not going anywhere.”
Mehl: “Well, that’s fine, right? That’s there decision and then the investors have to make their decision but like that’s taking the law into their own hands, ok? There’s law there. If they want to change the law, they can change the law. But I guarantee you one thing, you bring in long tenure in this country, in the rented sector right now and you have a bigger crisis then we already have.”
O’Connell: “And why not sell them with the tenant in situ, as is done with commercial property, we see it all the time, tenants not affected.”
Mehl: “I can answer that question because that’s a very good example you’ve given. Because a property is enhanced in commercial when there’s a tenant because you’ve a guaranteed rental flow but in residential, ok, that’s not necessarily the case because potentially you’re always looking for an owner-occupier.”
O’Connell: “What happens if the tenants dig their heels in here? Are you going to be down here trying to pull people out of their homes?”
Mehl: “Course I’m not. It’s not my job, that’s a sheriff’s job, ok but like, you know, I’m 40 years in the business, I don’t know what’s going to happen here but I know where I am in this situation, as in, I’ve given the notice and after that, well things just go flow from here.”
From top: Irish Cement factory, Mungret, Limerick; A dust laden car over the weekend
Irish cement dust?
Tim Hourigan writes:
At the weekend there was a dust blow out from the Irish Cement factory just on the outskirts of Limerick City.
It coated cars and houses in four nearby estates in a grey, gritty, very adhesive dust similar to a larger blowout in 2015.
The company is vehemently denying that there was any incident and that they are the source of the dust.
This comes just a matter of weeks after the factory received planning permission to build storage and handling equipment to feed tyres, plastics, solvents and other wastes into the kiln (which has a history of blowouts including two very large ones in recent years).
It also comes just before the deadline for appealing that planning decision.
Limerick Against Pollution worked on a joint appeal with other groups and individuals who had originally objected to the planning. That included the residents associations of 6 nearby estates and dozens of individuals.
By the time it was submitted, there were 45 parties to the joint appeal.
Approximately 2,000 people have lodged objections with the EPA about the proposal, and just about every councillor has condemned the decision.
Clare councillors also proposed a motion to appeal it, as Limerick Council had not informed Clare Co. Co. of their intention to grant permission.
However, a last minute amendment from Fine Gael councillors in Clare County Council saw this defeated, with the councillors instead proposing an objection to the EPA.
You should also have a listen to this – https://www.live95fm.ie/on-air/shows/limerick-today/limerick-today-podcasts/march-2017/limerick-today-councillors-and-residents-have-gr/ An interesting 12 minutes for local radio :)
Consultants brought in to ‘educate’ councillors about the project were grilled by councillors, and when asked by councillor Frankie Daly, why they made no reference to the European Commission report on the Cement industry, the consultant said he wasn’t familiar with the report.
The report from 2013 contains figures showing that filter failures in Irish cement factories are more than 20 times higher than those in Germany cement factories.