Irish Daily Mail

Candidate paid no rent for four years

SF hopeful was evicted from social housing

- 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.

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

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