'We fear for the health of our baby in mould-ridden home'
The parents of a young family forced to live in a damp and mould-ridden holiday home have pleaded for a new house as they fear for the health of their 10-month-old baby.
William McCarthy said he was concerned for the well-being of his youngest child, Thomas (10 months), who has contracted repeated infections and respiratory problems.
The father warned that he had already experienced enough tragedy in his life having lost a child, Caitlin, in a freak traffic accident in Cork in 2006.
Waterford councillor Jim Griffin warned that the seaside property involved was never designed to be lived in year-round - let alone occupied over the winter by young parents with five children aged under eight years.
"We are absolutely desperate and we are pleading for help," Mr McCarthy said.
He shares the Waterford property with his partner Ann-Marie and their five children - Thomas, twins Robert and Eileen (4), Tammy (5) and Danny (8).
"All we want is a decent home for our children - a place where the children can grow up happy, warm and safe," added Mr McCarthy.
He said layers of mould grow on the walls of the home, with the dampness so bad that clothing is often wet to the touch if left on a bed or dresser overnight.
The condensation is so bad that pools of water form at the base of the windows.
To make matters worse, because it was originally designed as a holiday home, the property has no open fire.
Mr Griffin said Waterford City and County council had done everything possible to help the family but was hamstrung by the chronic lack of available local housing stock.
"Something has to be done," he added.