Monday 1st April, 2019-The remaining residents at the Old Barrymore Hotel were evicted today when government officials showed up to change the locks on the units in the compound.
This latest development does not come as a surprise, since Works Minister the Hon. Lennox Weston had served notice to those who had taken up long-term residency that they had until 27th March, 2019 to leave. That timeline was subsequently revised to 1st April, 2019.
Scores of Barbudans took up occupancy at Barrymore temporarily, after Hurricane Irma ravaged the sister isle in 2017. While the majority have returned to Barbuda or have taken up residence elsewhere, several remained at the Fort Road property. But as was later revealed, there were several Antiguans that were also residing there with no financial obligations whatsoever.
Accompanied by the police this morning, employees from the Ministry of Works moved in and replaced the existing locks with new ones, a process that was overseen by head of the National Office of Disaster Services, Philmore Mullin.
The presence of the authorities incensed some of the residents who claimed they have no place in which to re-locate. But they had overstayed their welcome and compassion was in limited supply this morning.
Several weeks ago, Minister Lennox Weston stated the buildings on the old Barrymore Hotel will be refurbished to accommodate nationals from other countries including China and Cuba who are here to assist the government in areas of development.
Approximately six notices were served on the residents there.
For those who cannot move their possessions at the moment, the Works Department will ensure they are kept safely and will be handed over once the request is made.