Tent protest aims to shame Cyprus in dispute with developers

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Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Mail

BRITISH home buyer Conor O’Dwyer marked his 39th birthday yesterday far away from his wife and children as he continued his indefinite protest outside the Cyprus High Commission in London.

O’Dwyer began his protest camping outside the Cypriot diplomatic mission this month because August marks two years since he was due to move his family to Cyprus, and August marks the anniversary of when the Minister of the Interior told the media he was looking into the unlawful selling of O’Dwyer’s house.

In two years, no progress has been made on O’Dwyer’s case outlined on his website www.lyingbuilder.com, and he has now set up a new site www.ShameOnCyprus.com, which will focus initially on his protest in London.

“I am still getting the same rhetoric that I was getting two years ago,” O’Dwyer said yesterday. ‘That’s why I’m protesting. I’m not going anywhere until they drag this case to court and take the developers off to jail. I deserve my day in court.”

O’Dwyer spent a week in Larnaca hospital last January after he was beaten up in Frenaros when he went to take pictures of the house he had bought and over which he later came into dispute with the developers.

They have been charged by police in connection with the attack on O’Dwyer in Frenaros, but the case has yet to reach the courts.

He says the developers unilaterally cancelled his contract and kept his money, some £75,000 sterling, because he had pulled them up over what he saw as a misrepresentation of their deal. That case is also pending at court. The developers have accused O’Dwyer of allegedly masterminding a plan to extort a newer more expensive property, and exorbitant damages from the company.

“My case is undeniable,” said O’Dwyer who, said that if anyone bothered to look at it, it could be solved in an afternoon. “It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure it out. This whole thing stinks.”

O’Dwyer did receive a visit from an official at the Cyprus High Commission on Friday but the official only gave him “the same old story”, he said. A new High Commissioner is due to be in place next week, whom O’Dwyer hopes might listen to him.

Since the indefinite protest began, O’Dwyer has been sleeping in a tent and spends his day updating his new website and talking to passers-by, including, he said, potential British property buyers for Cyprus. “A few have now been put off buying in Cyprus when they heard what happened to me,” he said. “I’m not going to stay quiet any more and watch other people lose their savings. I’m sleeping in a tent. That’s what I got for my £75,000. I’ve lost my home but I’m not moving from here until I let everyone know what a corrupt society Cyprus is.”

By Jean Christou – Cyprus Mail
Published on August 15, 2008