'We have nowhere to go' - Time ticking for family handed eviction notice from caravan

Time is ticking for John McDonagh who claims he has been told he will be arrested and brought to court if he and his family do not move out of their caravan before Thursday.

'We have nowhere to go' - Time ticking for family handed eviction notice from caravan

Time is ticking for John McDonagh who claims he has been told he will be arrested and brought to court if he and his family do not move out of their caravan before Thursday.

John McDonagh, his wife Natasha McGuire and their four children, Missy (5), Maggie (3), Billy (2) and Mary Kate (1), have been sleeping in their four-berth mobile home in a public lay-by on the Cork Road in Fermoy for the last 12 months.

John told Neil Prendeville on Cork's Red FM that the family originally moved into a caravan next to his parents' house after the home they were renting was no longer available.

When that move became no longer viable they made the decision to move the caravan to the picnic park on the Cork Road in Fermoy.

The caravan is without electricity and running water and John said that their living conditions have greatly impacted on their young children’s health and that they have been the victim to crime while living in the picnic area.

We're living here over 12 months and we went through the worst winter ever here last year. Our caravan was broken into last winter.

He said that during the bad weather conditions the last year has brought, that one tree fell behind him and one in front of the caravan, which he said could have killed them had it fell on top of them.

He said he had no other choice than to be in the caravan during the bad snow and storms which was a struggle for the kids and impacted on their health.

Gardaí informed him that the County Council had made complaints and want him out.

He said that there is nowhere to go because there is no authorised halting site with water and power.

"No there's no halting site here in Fermoy," he said.

He said that he doesn't care where he has to live once the kids have a roof over their head.

John and his family rely on benefits as he is not qualified to work in any particular trade.

He feels that some people don't want to hire him because he is a member of the travelling community.

He said that at the time he and his wife had their four children, they were in a house and "didn't think that the house was going to go."

Listen to the full interview here:

Cllr Noel McCarthy who wants to see the family moved on also spoke to Neil.

Cllr McCarthy said that "there's a system there and people must work within the system."

He said that he wants to help people like John and his family but that they need to go about it the right way.

He said that it is "disrespectful" to have the caravan in the picnic area which is not "what the amenity is for".

I will help them if they do the right thing. John is a nice lad that deserves to be looked after.

- Digital Desk

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