Loss of Homes and Evictions across Europe
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Loss of Homes and Evictions across Europe

A Comparative Legal and Policy Examination

Edited by Padraic Kenna, Sergio Nasarre-Aznar, Peter Sparkes and Christoph U. Schmid

The loss of a home can lead to major violations of a person’s dignity and human rights. Yet, evictions take place everyday in all countries across Europe. This book provides a comparative assessment of human rights, administrative, procedural and public policy norms, in the context of eviction, across a number of European jurisdictions. Through this comparison the book exposes the emergence of consistent, Europe-wide standards and norms.
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Chapter 5: Evictions in Ireland

Padraic Kenna


Evictions in Ireland are a socially and politically emotive issue. Ireland experienced a major banking and economic crisis following a period of reckless lending between 1997 and 2007. The consequent banking collapse and associated unemployment led to a steep rise in mortgage arrears, and actions for possessions, which peaked in 2014. Some 30 000 households with arrears over two years face inevitable repossession. Irish constitutional law requires that any eviction be in accordance with the law on mortgage, rental and other repossessions, although human rights issues are not often considered. Most evictions are from private rented housing, with a six-fold increase in eviction-related cases between 2010–2015. There is a small social rented sector in Ireland, where some evictions take place. Overall, a shortage of housing for rent, or purchase, results in fierce competition for any available housing, and homelessness is consistently increasing, largely among those evicted from private rented housing. Properly addressing the extent of mortgage arrears and the position of households in long-term arrears has presented challenges for legislators, policy makers and Irish courts.

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