Friday 15 December 2017

'All I want is some stability for myself and my children – it's all Fiachra wanted, too'

STEPHANIE Meehan was once again busy packing cherished photographs of her beloved late partner for her fifth move in just two years.

This time the resilient mother of two will be setting up home in temporary accommodation provided by Dublin City Council (DCC) without her fiance, Fiachra Daly, by her side.

As she once again expertly packed her boxes and suitcases, Ms Meehan (35) heard that KBC Bank, with whom the couple had a mortgage for the Priory Hall property, are dropping plans to pursue the widow for the outstanding arrears and interest on their mortgage.

Ms Meehan still owed them €16,803.78 after her partner's insurance policy had paid the balance, but the bank is now writing off the debt. It said it "deeply regrets" if it has added to her distress.

Ms Meehan yesterday refused to comment on the bank's U-turn, telling the Irish Independent that all she wanted was to fulfil her partner's wish of having a safe roof over their children's heads that they could call their own.

"Myself and my family have moved five times in less than two years," said the mother of two as she unpacked the belongings of Oisin (7) and Cerys (2) at their new home in Belmayne, north Dublin.

Stephanie Meehan with her children Cerys (2) and Oisin (7) at their home in Belmayne, Dublin.
Stephanie Meehan with her children Cerys (2) and Oisin (7) at their home in Belmayne, Dublin.

Yet, even as she crossed the threshold of her new house, Stephanie told how she did not know where 'home' would be after October, when the Supreme Court rules on a DCC appeal on paying accommodation costs for residents.

PRESSURE

At this point, quite frankly, the restaurant manager has had enough of living out of suitcases and boxes.

After being ordered to leave the firetrap north Dublin housing complex built by IRA hunger-striker Tom McFeely, they had first moved to the Regency Hotel, then yet another hotel before moving into temporary accommodation in Belmayne.

She is now living in a different property in the Belmayne estate, as her partner took his life in their previous temporary accommodation.

It was there that Ms Meehan found the stress and pressure on her partner Mr Daly "eventually took its toll" and he took his own life on July 15 at the age of 37.

Ms Meehan could not bear to go on living in that property and returned home to her parents.

"Children need stability, all I want is some, and some certainty for myself and my children.

"That is the reason I'm doing this – to get what Fiachra certainly deserved."

Ms Meehan admitted yesterday had been "difficult" as she had moved their belongings again to a house she is afraid she will have to vacate in the coming weeks.

She believes the "dream" two-bedroom duplex they purchased with a 100pc mortgage for €296,000 turned into the root of all her partner's problems.

The brochure advertised an idyllic place with a new park across the way; her parents were five minutes away; school a spin in the car; and work was nearby.

Yet the "perfect location" turned into the "perfect nightmare".

Now, like all mothers, she wants to look forward to giving her children some security and marking those childhood milestones in a home they can call their own.

By Louise Hogan

Irish Independent

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