Plan to rehouse troublesome family sparks fear

FEAR has enveloped communities in Limerick after a family, that allegedly terrorised its neighbours, will be relocated in the city – with the help of HSE rent support.

The family faces eviction after causing mayhem in a new council-owned estate over the past two years. Over 70 complaints were made about the family.

Granting an eviction order at Limerick District Court, Judge Tom O’Donnell said he was “gobsmacked” at the litany of complaints.

As the family have now been given 60 days to move, members of Limerick City Council, at a housing meeting yesterday, said they fear the family will now move into a private housing scheme with financial help from the HSE.

Under the law, the HSE has to offer rent allowance to people who can prove they cannot get housing.

Cllr John Gilligan said: “If we take these people out of a house and the HSE, who can’t run the hospitals, decide they will give them a house elsewhere as luxury landlords, in luxury houses, all we are doing is moving the problem around the place and making it worse.

“I’ve no idea in the world why a failed medical system should be pouring money to supporting these people.”

At a recent meeting of the Limerick city joint policing committee, a representative from the HSE said under existing legislation they have to help families get accommodation through rent assistance, “no matter what the background of the family”.

Mr Gilligan said if the family moves into another neighbourhood with the help of the HSE, people living there paying big mortgages would not be able “to give their houses away.”

He said residents in Fairview Crescent in Garryowen, from where the troublesome family are being evicted from, had to flee their homes in the middle of the night. “Other families who had been living there have had to emigrate to England. We have to make a stand against these people.”

Mr Gilligan said the anomaly whereby families evicted by a council can get financial backing from the HSE will have to be examined.

Cllr Diarmuid Scully said anti-social behaviour was the single biggest problem in Limerick. “It is quite shocking that the HSE has failed to do their job in this area and change their attitude.”

Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said there was widespread concern the family due to be evicted will be landed in the midst of some city estate with the help of the HSE.

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