Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on the Government to introduce proper and robust legislation that would guarantee the rights of family farms and businesses being sold off to vulture funds.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking as she attended a protest in Dublin against the forced sale of family farms and businesses.
Organised by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) the protest was held outside the offices of BidX1, and online property trading platform that had been advertising the sale of rural farms and land.
“Firstly, the fact that BidX1 have temporarily ceased the sale of agricultural land on their website in light of this protest and the concerns raised by farmers shows that people power can and does work,” she said.
“So I would congratulate everyone here but this must be the beginning of something, not the end.
“BidX1 have made very clear the halt of such sales is temporary and I have no doubt that when the spotlight is taken off them again they will go back to such practices.
“These are not simple property sales. What is happening here is the forced sale of people’s homes, farms and businesses. This is the loss of land that may have been in a family for generations or indeed the loss of an entire way of life.
“The Government must introduce robust legislation that will place real regulations on these funds and real consequences for stepping outside them.
“It’s quite clear that the current codes of conduct are ineffective and ignored. Just a few days ago we learned from the Central Bank that no vulture fund or bank has ever been sanctioned for breaching any code of conduct, this despite countless reports of harassment from people unfortunate enough to be targeted by them.