PEOPLE living in barges on Dublin's Grand Canal are set to be evicted from their homes this week and will even have their boats removed by cranes if they refuse to move.
Waterways Ireland, the government authority for looking after the nation's rivers and canals, has repeatedly warned those living on the barges that they must move on.
It's understood that four boat owners currently have vessels on the canal, all of whom have been lobbying the government to allow them to stay, according to TheJournal.ie.
A Go Fund me page was setup to support the residents as well as a petition to get Waterways Ireland to change its mind.
Despite the petition gathering almost 5,000 signatures, it appears to have been unsuccessful.
According to current by-laws, Waterways Ireland does not allow boats to moor on any canals for more than five consecutive days, and the four boat owners have been told that their homes are to be removed and stored for a month before being sold off.
Beau Donelly, one of the people advocating for the change to the law, claims that more than 200 people are on a waiting list to moor in Grand Canal Dock, a list that has ballooned since Ireland’s recent housing crisis.
The Grand Canal Dock is currently home to a couple of dozen houseboats. He said there is room for many more not just in the dock but outside of it, with kilometres of canal available.
"My boat, and several others, is moored on the Grand Canal. We have received notice that Waterways Ireland intends to impound the boats in early July.
"Waterways Ireland says it will store the boats for one month before selling them. Most people who face this prospect live on their boats. They include families, retirees, and young couples.
"Like me, some have resorted to staying on a boat due to the astronomical price of accommodation in Dublin."