Saturday 19 August 2017

'It's so stressful' - Young woman living in Travelodge room with son (4) and mother who is battling cancer

Kerry Darcy O'Brien with her Mother Helen O'Brien and her son Kai (4) in her Travel Lodge Hotel yesterday.
Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Kerry Darcy O'Brien with her Mother Helen O'Brien and her son Kai (4) in her Travel Lodge Hotel yesterday. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Kerry Darcy O'Brien with her Mother Helen O'Brien and her son Kai (4) in her Travel Lodge Hotel yesterday. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Kerry Darcy O'Brien with her Mother Helen O'Brien and her son Kai (4) in her Travel Lodge Hotel yesterday. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Kerry Darcy O'Brien with her Mother Helen O'Brien and her son Kai (4) in her Travel Lodge Hotel yesterday. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Kerry Darcy O'Brien with her Mother Helen O'Brien and her son Kai (4) in her Travel Lodge Hotel yesterday. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A young woman has revealed she is living in a hotel room with her young son and her mother who is battling cancer.

Kerry Darcy O’Brien (23) said she has “run out of options” in her quest to find a home and has now issued a heartfelt plea for help to Dublin City Council.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Ms Darcy O’Brien, who lives with her mother Helen O’Brien and son Kai (4), said they have no cooking and washing facilities in their room at the Travelodge on the Navan Road, Dublin.

“We are just so stressed every day. I haven't been able to sit down and think,” she added

“I just want anything, it's like we're just existing here. I know it's hard out there, I know there are plenty of people in this situation but we would just appeal for a home.”

Ms Darcy O’Brien explained that she and son Kai had been living in rented accommodation in Finglas, North Dublin. Over the summer they lost the house after their landlord decided he wanted to live in the home.

Ms Darcy O’Brien, who qualifies for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), said she searched for alternative accommodation but was unable .

In the meantime her mother Helen (48), who was living in Liverpool, was diagnosed with multiple mylenoma cancer. Helen decided to return to Dublin to be around family during her chemotherapy treatment and started living with Kerry, who is now acting as her full-time carer.

“We were living with family and friends but after a while that just became too much. We got in touch with TDs and about two months ago we got this room in the Travelodge.”

She explained that there are no cooking facilities in the room so they mostly eat take-away food.

Up to recently they had no fridge but one was recently donated by a kind friend.

“My mother is going through chemotherapy at the moment, her immune system is down, so everything should be spotless in the room, but that’s impossible.

“This is not a place for a young child to be living or a woman going through cancer treatment.”

Their living arrangement is having a significant toll of Ms Darcy O’Brien who admits that she is booking an appointment with a psychiatrist for the family.

She said: “We can’t go on living like this.”

Housing Minister Simon Coveney has promised an end to homeless families being housed in hotels.

Last month he repeated that promise claiming “we’re ahead of schedule”.

Mr Coveney said the Government exceeded its target of 4,200 social housing solutions last year by almost 1,000 through acquisitions, bringing voids units back into use, long-term lease arrangements, and new construction.

"There's a real acceleration happening here in terms of delivery," he said, pledging that there would be more than 21,000 social housing solutions provided in 2017.

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