Monday 11 December 2017

Homeless couple who occupied council offices over 'filthy' accommodation are moved up housing list

Alan Murphy and Kelly Gilsenan leaving the High Court
Alan Murphy and Kelly Gilsenan leaving the High Court

Aodhan O'Faolain

A HOMELESS couple who camped out at the offices of South Dublin County Council in protest over their accommodation situation have been moved up the housing list, the High Court has heard.

However, the council told Mr Justice Paul Gilligan today it cannot say when it will be able to house Alan Murphy and his partner Kelly Gilsenan.

The council obtained an injunction against the couple after they refused to leave the council's offices.

They remained there for two days until the local authority obtained the injunction directing them to leave the Tallaght offices.

When the matter returned before the court, Carol O'Farrell Bl for the council said the couple's priority on the housing list had been raised

as it was now accepted they formed a family. Mr Murphy has a six year old child who suffers from asthma.

Counsel said the council did not know when it would be able to provide them with housing, as there are 8,500 people on the housing list.

While the couple had been co-operating with the council, it was concerned they were not doing enough to help themselves by seeking

private accommodation for which they would be entitled to a housing assistance payment, counsel said.

The couple told the court the most recent temporary accommodation they were provided  with had "damp walls," "damp ceiling,"  there was "blood on the sheets" and the place was "filthy."

They asked the court to strike out the injunction. However that application was dismissed by Mr Justice Gilligan.

The Judge suggested they contact an individual, whose name was provided by the council, who could help provide them with private accommodation.

The only other option they had, he said, was to wait in hotels and hostels until the council provided them with housing.

He adjourned the case to the end of the month.

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