Family with Junior Cert student forced to sleep in car offered beds for four nights

The 15-year-old Killarney Junior Cert student and her family who have been forced to stay in their family car in recent weeks have been offered accommodation in a guesthouse for four nights.

Family with Junior Cert student forced to sleep in car offered beds for four nights

On May 23, the Kisto family were hospitalised following a suspected gas poisoning at the house they were renting in a village in Mid-Kerry.

The three children and their mother were taken by ambulance to Kerry General Hospital.

The HSE has advised them not to return to the house.

The county council said it had found it difficult to source accommodation for the family in Killarney to suit their particular needs. Almost every room is fully booked in the town, which is experiencing a boom in tourism. However, the council homeless unit last night managed to secure four nights in a guesthouse for the family.

Local councillor Donal Grady, who has been trying to help the family, is calling on Kerry County Council to install mobile homes on its lands in Killarney to shelter families in need of emergency accommodation.

“This is the third homeless family in a week I have come across,” he said.

Yesterday, Prema Kisto, who is from Mauritius, resorted to an appeal through the media to help the family find somewhere to live, particularly as her daughter Banisha was trying to do her exams.

Banisha, a student at Killarney Community College, had to sit her Junior Cert exams knowing the family including her siblings — nine-year-old brother and 20-month-old sister — had no home.

On Monday, the money the St Vincent de Paul had given them for food was used up. Donal Grady had also paid for accommodation for one night for them.

The council homeless unit said it did not realise the children were at school in Killarney when it offered to put them in a Tralee hostel.

At one stage, Ms Kisto went to the gardaí to try to resolve her problem. She spent Friday night knocking on guesthouse doors until 1.30am, looking for a room throughout Killarney and its environs but was told there was no vacancy anywhere.

Ms Kisto has lived been in Ireland for seven years. Recently she had been working in a nursing home, but her contract had not been extended. Her partner and the father of her youngest child works in a Killarney hotel. However, he is paying maintenance to his former wife and family and had no money left from his €400-a-week salary.

In a statement a spokesman for Kerry County Council detailed how three offers of accommodation in Tralee and one in Killarney had been made to the family and the council was doing its utmost to help.

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