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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

Homeless couple moved up waiting list after 'filthy' accommodation had 'blood on the sheets'

The couple tried to sleep at the offices of South Dublin County Council.

A HOMELESS COUPLE who camped out at the offices of South Dublin County Council in protest about their accommodation situation have been moved up the local authorities housing list, the High Court has heard.

However the Council told Mr Justice Paul Gilligan on Thursday it cannot say when it will be able to house Alan Murphy and his partner Kelly Gilsenan.

The council obtained a High Court injunction against the couple after they refused to leave the council’s offices. They remained there for two days until the local authority obtained an injunction directing them to leave the premises,  located in Tallaght, Dublin.

The couple, along with several supporters, refused to leave the offices.  However they left after the injunction was obtained. The couple subsequently gave an undertaking before the Court to comply with the order.

Yesterday when the matter returned before the Court Carol O’Farrell Bl for the council said the couple’s priority on the housing had been raised as it was now accepted they formed a family. Mr Murphy has a six-year-old son who suffers from asthma.

Massive waiting list

Counsel said the council did not know when it would be able to provide them with housing, as there are 8,500 people on the housing list.

While the couple had been cooperating with her client it was concerned they were not doing enough to help themselves by seeking private accommodation for which they would be entitled to a housing assistance payment, counsel said.

The couple told the court the most recent temporary accommodation they were provided  with had “damp walls,” “damp ceiling,”  there was “blood on the sheets” and the place was “filthy.” They asked the court to strike out the injunction. However that application was dismissed by the Judge.

They both renewed their undertakings to abide by the terms of the injunction.

The Judge also suggested they contact an individual, whose name was provide by the Council. who could help provide them with private accommodation. The only other option they had, he said, was to wait in hotels and hostels until South Dublin Council provided them with housing.

Still waiting

It was not known when they could be provided with accommodation and there were many thousands of others also waiting to be housed, the Judge said.

The Judge in adjourning the case to the end of the month added that he hoped those individuals advising Mr Murphy and Ms Gilsenan would continue to help them.

The injunction was granted late last month after the High Court was informed the couple refused an offer of temporary emergency accommodation from the local authority, because it was not suitable for their needs.

The couple said they ended up sleeping in a tent after they became homeless after they had to leave the private accommodation they had been renting, when that property was sold.  They were unable to obtain other accommodation.

Read: There’s an €18 million hole in funding for Dublin’s homeless services

More: Homeless couple who slept at council tell court that temporary accommodation is not suitable

Aodhan O Faolain
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