Offer of a house for OAP couple facing prison falls through
Published 12/08/2014 | 07:37
AN OFFER from a 'Good Samaritan' of a free house for an elderly West Dublin couple facing homelessness has fallen through.
Violet and Martin Coyne are still facing the threat of jail for contempt after a court ordered them to vacate the property.
The pensioners have been renting their home in Carpenterstown for 15 years, but it is being repossessed because their landlord defaulted on the mortgage.
Their case attracted widespread publicity and a kind hearted ex-pat stepped up to offer her family home in Meath to the couple.
The American woman, who is originally from Co Meath, offered the couple her three-bedroom bungalow.
She was touched by the story of the elderly couple who were finding it impossible to find alternative accommodation.
But the Coynes faced yet another disappointment when they discovered a week later that the house was uninhabitable.
"The place had basically become derelict. The floorboards needed to be ripped up and replaced. There were smashed windows apparently. It just wasn't habitable," Mr Coyne (73) told the Herald yesterday.
Mr Coyne now fears that the offer from the woman may have made things worse for him and his wife.
"People who heard about the offer thought we were fixed up, but we are anything but," he explained.
"It has actually made it worse, anyone else that was in a position to offer us a house probably thought then that we didn't need it."
The couple say they are locked out of the renting market despite daily searches for a new home.
"Nobody takes rent allowance, and rent has doubled in this area," Martin noted.
The Coynes are due in court on August 27 and Martin is living in fear that they will face jail for not leaving the home.
Fingal County Council have assured the couple that they will be provided with short-term hotel or hostel accommodation if they cannot find anywhere to live.