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18th Dec 2015

‘Evicted At Christmas’ – The Desperation Of Ireland’s Homeless

"I don't really live. I exist basically".

Ellen Tannam

Christmas is traditionally a time of indulgence and comfort, as we all spend quality time with our families and exchange gifts.

But what about the people all over the country who possibly won’t have a home this Christmas?

It’s estimated that over 100,000 residential homes are in arrears across Ireland with 17,000 of those being threatened with repossession in the courts by Irish banks.

For many Irish people, their Christmas will be spent worrying about whether they will still have a place to live in the New Year.

Several of these individuals have come forward to share their stories with TV3 in Evicted At Christmas, following three families who are battling eviction.


Midwife Ciara O’Reilly (46), from Dublin, could potentially lose her family home in January 2016 following a marriage split which saw her take on sole responsibility for a mortgage and her young son.

Evicted at Christmas _ on TV3 _ Ciara O'Reilly profile howthCiara O’Reilly.

“I’m quite a robust person. I found myself in a situation where my mind was actually starting to formulate plans about taking my own life. I don’t even drink, but I was thinking ‘ok just go and get a bottle of vodka and take some pills and go up to Howth head and throw yourself off Howth head and just be done with this pain’. At the same time, my rational mind is going; you have a son, you have responsibilities, you have to keep going.”

A Cork mother who wishes to remain anonymous spoke to TV3 about how her cancer diagnosis takes second priority after the constant threat of homelessness that looms over her.

Evicted at Christmas on TV3 - Jillian at home 2Jillian who wishes to remain anonymous.

“My health is suffering. I feel so sick all the time. I’m constantly worried. I don’t sleep, my head never stops. I don’t have a life. I don’t really live, I exist basically. Basically, I feel like my body is disintegrating. I was diagnosed with cancer and I said to the doctor ‘I actually don’t have time for this’, and I didn’t. My cancer was less of a priority than my mortgage.”

The show will air on TV3 at 9 pm on December 21st.

All photographs courtesy of TV3.