Wednesday 23 August 2017

‘I didn’t know I was pregnant when we were living in the car... I lost the baby’

Resident of 54 Mountjoy Street, Gemma Bradley who is being made homeless with her family.
Photo: Tony Gavin
Resident of 54 Mountjoy Street, Gemma Bradley who is being made homeless with her family. Photo: Tony Gavin

Alan O'Keeffe

A young mum – who miscarried while sleeping rough in a car – said she was prepared to move anywhere in Ireland if her family were given a house.

Gemma Bradley (21), her partner Paul and their toddler son Kaiden are one of seven families who have been told they must leave their emergency accommodation on Mountjoy Square this Friday. The young family have been living in the hostel since last November.

On Friday, Gemma was given seven days’ notice by Dublin City Council that its contract with the private landlord was ceasing.

“We’ve had a tough time since we first became homeless in 2013,” said Gemma.

They hope the council will find them suitable alternative accommodation.

They said they endured a lot of stress when placed in a poorly-run hotel in Dublin in 2013. Following a stint at a different city hotel, they emigrated to England.

Gemma worked as a trainee manager in an English pub while Paul worked in construction. But when their landlord’s home was repossessed, they returned to Dublin in December 2014.

Read more: 'I sobbed when they told me we had to go', says mum after closure of building

With no accommodation, the couple ended up sleeping rough while her mother looked after their son.

“We were sleeping in a car for a while that we brought over from England. We then sold the car because we needed the money and slept rough. I didn’t know I was pregnant when we were living in the car. I lost the baby at three months,” she said.

They were finally given emergency accommodation in a north Dublin hotel, but difficulties arose involving other people staying there.

In desperation, Gemma said she managed to contact Taoiseach Enda Kenny about her plight and the council then offered them accommodation at a “really nice” hotel.

Then last November, they moved into the emergency accommodation in Blessington Street. “Now, the council have offered us a place where we would have to share a kitchen. We want some place to ourselves,” she said.

“All we really want is a stable home for our son. We’d go anywhere in Ireland if we were given a house,” she said.

Gemma said she would protest with other residents outside the building on Blessington Street on Friday when they have to leave.

Focus Ireland spokesman Mike Allen said: “It’s very traumatic for these families in Blessington Street, but this is not untypical for what other homeless families go through. This is what a homeless crisis looks like.”

Herald

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