Family of seven told by Council to go and live in a field in Ireland Sarah Counihan-Sanchez aged 15 told a packed public

meeting at the Marian Centre in Kilburn on 17th October how her family had received a third eviction notice from Brent Council and have been ordered to quit their temporary accommodation by 8th November. The latest advice that the family have received from Brent Housing is that the family of seven should go and live in an empty field in the West of Ireland and that Anthony Counihan should commute from there to his job as a bus driver at Cricklewood garage. The family’s health is suffering from the long journeys from temporary accommodation in Ealing to the children’s schools in Brent. Vinny aged 4 is autistic and has started biting his hands as a reaction to the long journeys each day. The family were first evicted by Brent Council in April 2012 18 months after they declared £18 a week income from a small plot of land they had inherited in Ireland. Lesley Ryan of the Irish Centre told the public meeting that the land the family inherited in Ireland has nil value and that Brent Council should have advised the family that they could keep their tenancy open while they went to Ireland to care for their dying grandfather. If Brent had done this the family would not be homeless now. Nicki of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! spoke on behalf of the Counihan Family Campaign saying that the campaign had already shown that it would not be pushed around. The campaign defeated attempts by the police and Brent Council to stop them marching in Kilburn on 6th October. The campaign worked with the help of Liberty to force the police to concede that the campaign had the legal right to march. In the end over 100 local supporters marched on the Kilburn High Road singing “ You can’t kick this family out of Brent!” and receiving tremendous support from Kilburn residents. The Reverend Paul Nicholson told the meeting that this was the most impressive campaign he has seen in 30 years of housing campaigning because of its success in drawing in local people. The Counihan Family Campaign is also working to support other people suffering from cuts in Brent. We heard from Joseph Frimpong whose family have been evicted by Brent even though his wife is disabled. Anne spoke about her son Daniel Roque Hall who is severely disabled and is being held in Wormwood Scrubs where they cannot treat his condition. Anne told the meeting that the Prison authorities had lied to his Judicial Review saying that Daniel was in Wormwood Scrubs when he was actually mortally ill in UCH hospital and that no-one had even informed Anne. A friend of Joe McPhillips from Willesden told us that he has been refused psychotherapy treatment for his mental health issues and is at risk of suicide. Joe’s referral request was rejected without the consultant ever meeting him or informing him of the decision. The Counihan Campaign’s next actions will be protests at Brent Town Hall on 12th November and 21st November. We will have a march from Kilburn Tube on Saturday 1st December calling for Housing for the Counihans and No cuts in Brent! We are on Facebook: Counihan Battlebus Jim McIntyre 07958 157392 Attached: email from Brent Housing

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