Mum of two pleads with Limerick council for secure accommodation

A single mother of two has pleaded with Limerick City and County Council to help her secure accommodation after she lost her job and home after developing medical complications in pregnancy.
Mum of two pleads with Limerick council for secure accommodation

Cally Ryan, 30, her baby daughter Harper, and son Leon, 7, initially spent three months living out of a friend’s car, and have been sleeping together on her mother’s couch for the past five months.

With her daughter due to celebrate her first birthday on Saturday and her son returning to school next month, Ms Ryan begged the council for help.

“It all happened when I was pregnant with my daughter who’ll be one year old next week,” said Ms Ryan, a former waitress.

“I had problem with my pelvis when I was pregnant and I couldn’t continue working.

“As I wasn’t working, I couldn’t afford my rent and I had to move out. When I had my daughter I got back onto the council, but I’ve heard nothing.”

Ms Ryan, who has been on her council’s housing waiting list for seven years, said: “The longer it has gone on, I’ve been going from house to house. I was actually living out of a car — and the car wasn’t even mine.

“I was keeping all my stuff in it for about three months. I’m ringing the council every day and leaving messages for them to ring me back. They don’t return calls.”

Ms Ryan said her local authority had confirmed there was a one-bedroom flat available to rent in her native Cappamore, in north-east Co Limerick, but that she has not been told if she can move in.

“I am actually homeless with two kids, and I’ve been on the waiting list for seven years — I should be a priority at this stage,” said Ms Ryan, who added that she does not know where she will celebrate her daughter’s first birthday this weekend.

“Harper is one on Saturday,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do, or who’ll let me have a party at their house. I’ll have to ask around.”

Ms Ryan said she does not want to bring her family to a homeless hostel.

“We all sleep on the couch, the three of us,” said Ms Ryan.

“I’m trying to do my best. I’m trying to stay positive for the sake of the children, because Leon picks up on everything. He asks me why I am crying and he tells me he’ll buy us a home when he wins the lotto.

“It’s just madness. I never thought I would see myself in this situation. I never thought that I would be homeless.

“It can happen in an instant, because I wasn’t able to go to work, and now I have nowhere to live.”

In a statement, Limerick City and County Council said that it “does not comment on individual cases”.

The council added in the statement: “At the end of June 2006 there were 4,336 applicants on the housing waiting list in Limerick City and County.

“The circumstances of all applicants are reviewed on a regular basis.”

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