The 31-year-old former lorry driver from Naas suffered life-threatening injuries in a motorcycle accident in 2007 and received his settlement cheque this summer.
Yesterday, he used it to buy an end of terrace red brick house in Dublin’s Rathgar suburb at auction for €459,000. He said the property will be rented out and hopefully serve as his income while he continues his rehabilitation from the accident.
“I only heard about it [the auction] last Wednesday,” David said.
“I was only able to get a first viewing yesterday.”
He had been working as a truck driver, moving goods from Britain to Ireland, when the accident occurred. A motorcycle enthusiast, his vehicle was struck by a lorry in an accident he described as “exactly like the RSA [Road safety Authority] ad”.
“Luckily, I landed on my head,” he joked, but the seriousness of his injuries were no laughing matter.
He suffered severe head injuries. Nerves were torn from his spine, and it was only after a day in hospital that he realised he could not move his left arm.
“I am still not fully recovered,” he said.
Now he will be moving the furniture around in Rathgar at a property currently split into eight one-bed units. He is eventually hoping to build a house for himself and his girlfriend. He was reluctant to refer to himself as a landlord: “I hate the word.”
The property, 3 Waverly Terrace in Dublin 6, was one of the highest selling lots at yesterday’s Allsop Space property auction at the Shelbourne Hotel — the third such auction this year.
Before events got under way, protesters including Socialist Party TD Clare Daly and David Hall of the New Beginning group demonstrated outside.
Mr Hall said that in the case of three properties listed at the auction, the keys had been handed back by families under threat of repossession, with the result that one of the families had emigrated.
“All delusional,” he said of the auction.
“The three individuals who were forced to leave their homes, without representation, without good advice, and the difference between what’s achieved in the fire sale today and the difference with the mortgage will then be passed on to them to be paid, plus all of the expensive and elaborate costs for today.”
He said New Beginning, which represents people facing repossession, would be forwarding “radical” proposals to the Central Bank in the coming weeks.
Back inside, about 700 people witnessed 72 lots go under the hammer, held by auctioneer Gary Murphy.
There were different shades to the debate whichever way you turned.
David Smith, a 27-year-old engineer from Clondalkin, secured Lot 14, a semi-detached four-bedroom house in Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan, for €79,000.
He and his partner Lindsey Crowley, said that two sales they previously agreed had fallen through.
They rent a house a few doors down from their new home and David said of the auction purchase: “It’s just easier.”
The properties on offer yesterday ranged from an old coastguard station on the Connemara coast, bought for €110,000 by a phone bidder, to a batch of 12 apartments in the same block in Wexford sold for a total of €470,000.