Mother-of-nine living on Youghal beach claims landlords turn her down because she's on benefits

A mother who has been living on a beach in Cork with her nine children says landlords are turning her down because she is on benefits.

36-year-old Keely Jones is entitled to a HAP payment worth €1,500 a month, but cannot find anywhere to rent near her home of Youghal.

She and her family were made homeless last November after six years in their rented property and have moved into tents on a beach.

Keely Jones at the beach in Youghal where she is currently living. Picture: Facebook

Ms Jones says she is been discriminated against in her search for a home.

"There were so many people looking for properties that when we went, we were one of about eight so I think the houses were prioritised for these 2.4 families and people paying cash.

"A lot of people don't seem to want to take the HAP scheme even though they're supposed to.

"They just list ya down and we seem to be bottom of the pile all the time."

Yesterday it was revealed that Ms Jones and her children are living in tents and sleeping on travel cots and air mattresses having set up on the beach last week.

Her children are aged 17, 16, 13, ten, eight, four, three, one year old and six-months-old.

Of living on the beach, she says that at the moment the children are "having a ball" but if the weather should turn then it would quickly become a different story.

"If I don't stay positive about this I might have a meltdown," Ms Jones told Cork's 96fm Opinion Line.

I try and keep a brave face on and then when I need to go to the doctor, if I feel I am under pressure then I go in and speak to the doctor. We have a great relationship.

Ms Jones said that she is currently on medication for mental health difficulties and has been with a psychiatric hospital previously.

"The one thing that I feel bad about is that I can't put a roof over their [the children's] heads. I feel very guilty that I can't."

- Digital Desk

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