THE brother of a gangland killing victim who is homeless with his wife and son with special needs is ‘coming up against brick walls’ trying to find suitable housing accommodation.
Christopher Moran, whose brother Stephen ‘Dougie’ Moran was shot dead outside his house in Lucan in March, said they became homeless after they received death threats and were told to leave the country.
Mr Moran handed in the keys to his council house before travelling to the UK with his wife and son Michael (12).
On return to Ireland, they spent a short period of time in a hotel before being offered accommodation on the third floor of a hostel without proper wheelchair access or washing or cooking facilities.
“We became homeless over three and a half months ago, my brother was killed in a gangland killing,” he told RTE Radio One’s Liveline.
“Windows in my house and car were smashed in, I was told if I didn’t leave Ireland I’d be shot,” he continued.
“We approached the council when we came home from the UK.
“A social worker told us this hostel accommodation would be suitable for us and that it would be ground floor accommodation.
“We have a boy in a wheelchair with autism, he needs 24 hour care. He’s in nappies and his immune system is very low. We have to constantly clean bed linen for him, there’s a washing machine but we can’t dry them out.
“There’s a big step at the front door, no ramp or anything. The handle of the wheelchair is bent and I don’t want to strain it because I’m afraid it will snap. Then there’s a lift to the third floor.
“If there’s a fire, the only option is six flights of stairs which we wouldn’t be able to manage with Michael at all. We’re terrified at night in case the alarm goes.
“We’ve tried every association, all they keep saying is they’re doing their best for us.”
Moran, who formerly worked with the Navy, said it isn’t an option to move in with any of his seven other children because of Michael’s condition and the continuing threats on his life.
“They’re grown up and have kids of their own,” he said.
“I’d be afraid with the grandkids in case anyone is following me. They wouldn’t have the room for me anyway.
“Michael needs his own space, he doesn’t like noises, screaming kids... even with the Luas line passing, we have to put the television a bit louder because things can set him off and it could be hours, days until he comes around to himself.”
Furthermore, Michael was due to get his hips replaced at the time of his uncle’s shooting but the operation was deferred.
“He still needs the operation – his hips have been out of place for the last two years but he would be in plaster now and it wouldn’t suit, he wouldn’t be able to leave that room for six or seven weeks,” Moran continued.
“Michael is my main concern. I’m terrified enough driving around everyday watching over my shoulder and watching out for my family.”
Moran’s brother 'Dougie' was known as a major underworld 'fixer' with strong links to Limerick's McCarthy/Dundon gang. He had been acting as a driver for former mob boss John Gilligan in the months before he was shot dead.
“There was always a threat against my brother, always level of threats on my brother’s life,” Christopher said.
“I’ll be honest, I come from an ex-navy background and I’ve worked all my life. I was trying to advise him not to be mixing with other people, but I couldn’t be a babysitter and it’s been a ripple effect since then.
“It’s just been downhill for us since my brother’s been murdered.
“I saw on the papers [he was driving John Gilligan], I was horrified. I thought to myself why is my brother driving him around of all people.
“He said it was just a once-off,” he continued.
“I’ve a different type of friends altogether, I wouldn’t associate with people like that. At the end of the day I’d rather leave it at the hands of the gardai.
“At the end of the day he lived his life, we lived ours separately.
“Now, my number one priority is my son Michael and getting a proper place to stay.
“South Dublin county council put us back on the waiting list but God knows how long we’ll be waiting.”