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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021
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Mother fears she will "have to sleep rough" after county council refuses emergency accommodation

The family have been refused accommodation by Kildare Co Council the High Court heard today.

2268374903_98011c0e5d_b Source: Kieran Lynam

A MOTHER AND her two young children fear they will have “to sleep rough” because Kildare Co Council have refused to provide them with emergency accommodation, the High Court has heard.

The family, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have brought judicial review proceedings against Kildare Co Council seeking orders, including one quashing the Council’s decision to refuse them emergency accommodation. The woman also seeks an order from the court directing the council to reconsider the family’s application

Through her lawyers the woman claims the refusal is unlawful on grounds including that no proper reasons were given by the council for their decision.

Relationship

Represented by Teresa Blake SC, the High Court heard the family were living in private rented accommodation with the mother’s former partner up until October 2015.

After the relationship ended the woman and her children, both aged under three years of age, had been staying at different locations with friends and relatives.

That, the court heard, was only meant to be a temporary measure. Despite seeking a new place to live the family have been unable to secure alternative accommodation.

The mother attended at Kildare County Council’s offices on 6, 7, and 8 January last seeking emergency accommodation. On 8 January the mother was informed by the council the family’s application had been turned down.

Counsel said the family were given no proper reasons why they were not suitable for emergency accommodation.

Counsel said the failure to provide the family with somewhere to stay amounts to a breach of the local authority’s own accommodation scheme as well as a breach of their constitutional rights.

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“Detrimental effects”

In a sworn statement the mother said she feared the “detrimental effects” being “forced to sleep rough” would have on her two children. The mother added that she was also “at cracking point”.

She added that the family had been unable to secure private rented accommodation since leaving the premises she and her former partner had shared. While she is in receipt of various State allowances she could only find three suitable properties for her and her children that were within her price range.

However none of those property’s owners would take persons in receipt of rent allowance. The woman also said that she has been on the Council’s housing list for some years, and went on the list prior to her children being born.

Permission to bring the action was granted, on an ex parte basis, by Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy. The Judge, noting the urgency of the matter, made the matter returnable to court this Thursday, 28 January.

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About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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