A pregnant mother of nine has launched a desperate appeal after her house was set on fire and she was left homeless.
Anne Donegan, 37, has been living in emergency homeless accommodation with her children for five months, but has been homeless for over a year and says the Government has treated her “worse than a dog”.
“I went in to the Coombe Hospital to have my baby in March last year and when I came home my house was burned down.
“I had been living there all my life but the council moved in people who didn’t want my family living there so they burned it down.
“We lost everything. That was my family home. Since then I have been trying to make homes for the 11 of us on €549 a week. We’ve lived in so many over the last year,” she said.
Anne, whose children range in age from 1 to 18, lives with her children and husband in three sparsely furnished rooms each with two beds. She says her children haven’t attended school in nine months and are often sick as she has no cooking facilities.
“All 11 of us have been living in three rooms in emergency accommodation without a cooker or proper kitchen. We have a microwave we all use but because of this I have to bring my children to the doctor as they are always getting sick. We’re surrounded by other homeless families and children so if one gets sick, they all get sick.
“My youngest child TJ was born into this country homeless. My heart breaks for everyone here,” she said.
The trauma experienced by the whole family over the last year has taken its toll and Anne is concerned of the effects the situation is having on her children who have been in counselling since their home was burned down.
“My daughters keep waking up in the middle of the night screaming. It’s an awful way to live. I’m looking at families here and everyone is being moved from place to place. We’re treated worse than a dog,” Anne said.
“I’m having a baby in November and one of my baby’s kidneys isn’t working and I know it’s because of stress.”
She said her biggest fear is that her children will be taken off her if she cannot find a suitable home for them in the near future.
“My biggest fear in going through all this is that my children will be taken off me. That was my biggest fear going through all this. I just don’t know what the future holds for my children but I will fight to keep them. I didn’t make myself homeless; my house was burned to the ground,” she said.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council was unavailable for comment when contacted.
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