Reported in the News Letter on August 22, 1945: Desperate ex-serviceman and his family take possession of Belfast house

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Samuel Rankin, the Belfast “vigilante” who took possession of a house in Harrison Street, Belfast, on Sunday morning [August 19], told a News Letter reporter yesterday that a representative of the agents for the house had notified him that steps would be taken to eject him and his family from the house.

Rankin repeated his declaration that he would stay in the house until the court ordered him to leave.

“We have nowhere else to go,” he said, “and I think that the publicity which had been given to our case will help 
other ex-Servicemen with families who cannot get a place to live.”

The family’s main problem is their lack of fuel. There is no gas in the house, and Rankin stated that he could not get coal because he had been living in Ligoniel when he first registered, and since then he had not been able to register as he had had to change his lodgings so often.

People in Harrison Street, he said, had been very kind to him and had supplied his family with coal from their own stocks. He could not continue, however, to let them do so.