Grieving mother fears she and sons will face festive season on the street
Two little boys who lost their father to pneumonia just over a month ago are facing the prospect of spending Christmas on the street after a local authority said they could not stay in his council house because their mother is not on the lease.
Fionn and Cormac Gallagher, aged nine and seven, have to be out of the Wexford town home they shared with their father Michael by the end of the month, according to their heartbroken mother Claire-Marie Malone.
Ms Malone said she had nowhere left to turn and was distraught following a month of "complete tragedy" for her young family.
Ms Malone (28) separated from Mr Gallagher (52) five years ago, but despite the split they remained "best friends".
The Wexford woman, who had to have a lung removed last year due to a rare and debilitating respiratory disorder, said they had been living separately until Mr Gallagher fell ill and she lost her private rental home.
"Michael said I could move back in until I got myself sorted and on the mend. The kids spent four nights a week there anyway, so it made sense.
"Then it all came to a head and Mike got really sick. He went into hospital, and 10 days later he died of pneumonia and blood clots on his lungs," she said.
"The rent allowance is €121.41 a week. I can't even find a one-bed apartment for that. My only options now are a B&B or a women's refuge."
A spokesperson for Wexford County Council said they could not comment on individual cases, but stressed that they are "not in the business of kicking people on to the street".