Four former soldiers permitted to remain in accommodation

A LIMERICK landlord has ensured a secure future for four former soldiers, permitting them to remain in accommodation which was home to them for a number of years.

It was initially feared the four retired soldiers, who served with the UN during their army careers, would have to move out of their accommodation at St James’s Street, which opened as a halfway house for ex-servicemen five years ago.

It originally housed 11 former army men and, since it opened, up to 30 former members of the defence forces have lived there.

The owner of the property, Askeaton businessman John Sheehy said yesterday the matter had now been resolved.

Earlier this week, it was reported new accommodation had been found for the ex-soldiers.

However, Mr Sheehy said the four remaining soldier tenants will remain on in his property. He further confirmed an arrangement had been reached with them.

He said there was about €20,000 in rent arrears under the former arrangement. The converted building had originally opened as a half-way house for former members of the defence forces in Limerick.

Mr Sheehy said: “I will have to write off the loss of that and the four retired soldiers will remain on. I have altered the building and they have three bedrooms and a sitting room It is like a big three-bed apartment and they are very happy.

“They will not have to move and a rent allowance will be paid by the city council. They are happy and I am happy to have them stay on.”

Mr Sheehy said he had entered a temporary arrangement with a member of the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen (ONE) five years ago, until such time as ONE were able to secure a building from the city council.

The council and ONE had not come up with an alternative accommodation when the five year arrangement ran out last week.

Mr Sheehy said he never wanted the four remaining residents to move out and had told them so. However, he said the matter had now been resolved.

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