Friday 19 December 2014

Dublin widower meets with Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation in attempt to save house

Published 14/08/2014 | 15:22

Danny and their three children - Sophie , Scott and Stacey

Dublin widower Danny O' Connor has met with the CEO of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation in an attempt to save his family home.

Following the publication of the O' Connor family's story in Independent.ie, the CEO of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation offered to meet the widower to discuss his case, free of charge.

O' Connor went in for the meeting today accompanied by Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan.

Speaking to Independent.ie, the father of three says the meeting was "very positive", leaving him "in great form."

"It felt good... he understands what I'm going through."

Meanwhile, the Facebook page launched in support of the family has accumulated almost 7,000 likes and raised over €1400.

O' Connor says the support has made him feel "a lot more happy... before I felt dead."

"it's a positive thing, whatever the outcome - I'm not on my own."

O' Connor is in talks to "park" part of the mortgage in order to keep the house. "There's not too many options... (he) made no promises but I feel like a weight's been taken off."

"Three months ago when I was getting told to give back the keys I would have done it... I'm glad I didn't."

If these meeting with the bank and the Mortgage Holders Organisation fall through, O' Connor has one last avenue to save his home for his three children Sophie (14), Scott(9) and Stacey (7). "Lynn is looking into it for me... into why the social welfare are not helping me".

The Dublin Dad is facing losing the home his family have lived in for ten years following the loss of a six-year fight with the insurance company that held his wife's life assurance policy.

Ashling O'Connor died six years ago leaving behind her husband Danny and their three children - Sophie (8), Scott(3) and Stacey (1).

Danny has been fighting his wife's insurance company for almost six years with the help of the Ombudsman, but recently received the news that the State body can "no longer help" him.

Danny is on a widower's pension and was receiving mortgage supplements from the council while his case was being investigated by the Ombudsman. He was paying 'interest-only' on his mortgage for this time while he fought for his wife's life insurance payout.

"The banks won't take any more money off me... they say it's too far gone. They say they need to repossess the house".

The insurance company claim that information was "not disclosed" when filling out the application for life assurance on the mortgage.

Ashling went into hospital with "pains in her bones" and doctors thought she may have lupus, although she was never officially diagnosed with the disease. She was in St. James' Hospital  for a couple of weeks before contracting pneumonia and being moved to the ICU and placed on ventilator. Speaking to Independent.ie, Danny said that was the last time he "heard her talk...That's the last time I talked to her".

Ashling was transferred to Sweden for specialist treatment and remained in hospital for eight months before she died. Her official cause of death is thought to be an infection which spread to her lungs.

Pamela Burke, the person who set up the Facebook page, told Independent.ie: "There are so many people in the same situation. We are receiving such overwhelming support from the public."

"We are in the process of organising a meet night for people in the same situation. We will be  inviting organisations, politicians, insurance companies and supporting members of the public to come along to have their say and give advice to the families."

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