Can­di­date paid no rent for four years

SF hope­ful was evicted from so­cial hous­ing

Irish Daily Mail - - Election 2020 - By Dan Dana­her and He­lena Kelly

A SINN Féin elec­tion can­di­date has vowed to con­tinue cam­paign­ing af­ter it emerged she was evicted from so­cial hous­ing for fail­ure to pay €12,000 in rent.

Vi­o­let Anne Wynne was in hous­ing pro­vided by the non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Ru­ral Re­gen­er­a­tion Ire­land, which en­cour­ages city peo­ple to move to the coun­try to help ru­ral economies.

She and her fam­ily didn’t pay any rent for four years, even though their stay in Co. Clare was sub­sidised by the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Ms Wynne, a Trin­ity Col­lege grad­u­ate from Dublin, said that she had a fall­ing-out with the or­gan­i­sa­tion and didn’t pay rent for four years be­cause of fam­ily health prob­lems.

The non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, which folded last year be­cause of a lack of fund­ing, was forced to take Ms Wynne to court for not pay­ing her rent. She, her part­ner and three chil­dren left af­ter a judge granted an evic­tion or­der.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion had set the rent at €63 a week, but this hadn’t been paid for four years.

Ms Wynne said ‘there was a break­down in our re­la­tion­ship be­tween us and the land­lord [Ru­ral Re­gen­er­a­tion Ire­land] from the minute we opened the door’, and claimed the per­son who de­cided to pub­li­cise her court case is ‘po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated’.

With Sinn Féin rid­ing high in the polls on 25%, the Kil­rush-based mother-of-five finds her­self in the spot­light af­ter a source pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about her rent ar­rears to The Clare Cham­pion.

She said: ‘I have no doubt this is po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated. I ran for the lo­cal elec­tions last year and there was no “hype or sen­sa­tion­al­ism” be­cause there was no mo­men­tum for Sinn Féin.

‘It is done in a bid to neg­a­tively im­pact on my cam­paign. So to the Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael can­di­date that sent this in­for­ma­tion to the Clare Cham­pion, I say this to you: you think this makes me want to stop; no, this makes me more com­mit­ted to mak­ing sure I am in gov­ern­ment to pro­tect the peo­ple from the likes of you.’

Ms Wynne and her part­ner were asked to re­spond to a claim no­tice is­sued by RRI for four years’ rent up to June 3, 2016, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments. A weekly rent of €63.64 was set un­der a let­ting agree­ment dated De­cem­ber 1, 2011, and the fam­ily re­mained in the Tul­ly­crine house un­til De­cem­ber 2017. RRI was granted a de­cree for pos­ses­sion of the premises at

Tul­ly­crine on July 28, 2017, with a two-month stay. The cou­ple were ad­vised to en­ter into ne­go­ti­a­tions with Clare County Coun­cil to seek al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion as the case was ad­journed un­til Septem­ber, and the cou­ple com­plied.

Ms Wynne in­sists the cou­ple paid

‘A bid to neg­a­tively im­pact cam­paign’

12 months’ rent and a de­posit un­til they ex­pe­ri­enced fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.

She said one of their chil­dren ended up in Univer­sity Hospi­tal Lim­er­ick in Fe­bru­ary 2012, and that they had to travel there a few times a day, take turns to stay with the child, pay park­ing fees and eat out. Asked about the un­paid rent, she said: ‘The rent sit­u­a­tion was down to fi­nan­cial dif­fi­culty and also in the hope it would spur the land­lord to meet us and look into our com­plaints.

‘There was a break­down in our re­la­tion­ship from the minute we opened the door.’

Com­ment­ing on her lat­est ac­com­mo­da­tion, Ms Wynne said she had no prob­lem with her new land­lord, whom she has been with for two years.

[email protected]­ly­mail.ie

Huge ar­rears: Vi­o­let Anne Wynne failed to pay €12,000

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