Saturday 18 November 2017

'Eviction will turn our autistic son's world upside down' - Family face eviction from rental home

Jerry McEvoy with his partner Jade Merrigan and their four sons, from left, Josh (2), Lennon
(4), Callum (7) and Mason (1) at their home in Clonee. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Jerry McEvoy with his partner Jade Merrigan and their four sons, from left, Josh (2), Lennon (4), Callum (7) and Mason (1) at their home in Clonee. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

Gavin White

A Dublin family with a two-year-old autistic boy fear they will end up homeless again as they face eviction from their rental accommodation.

Originally from Finglas, north county Dublin, Jerry McEvoy (30) and his partner Jade Merrigan (27) have lived in a two-bedroom house in Clonee with their four boys for the past four-and-a-half years.

Prior to this, they were homeless for four months, living in a hotel, but now face eviction on April 1 as, due to unforeseen circumstances, their landlord has to move back in to the property.

The family applied for medical priority on the social housing list through Fingal County Council and Dublin City Council in July 2016.

"We were told we would have a decision within four to six weeks but we were only refused in January of this year," Mr McEvoy said.

Their son Josh has severe autism and "is completely non-verbal".

Mr McEvoy said the other three boys - Calum (7), Lennon (4) and Mason (1) - had "started to resent the situation a little bit".

"A lot of the time Josh has his hands on his ears and can start screeching, depending on the noise in the room. Any move will turn his world upside down," he said.

In an attempt to create a necessary sensory room where Josh would feel more comfortable, the family have made a makeshift room in a "teepee tent with lights to help him mellow out".

The family have been offered a place on the HAP scheme, but Mr McEvoy said "if we go through that, we will be taken off the housing list".

Spokespeople for both Dublin City and Fingal County councils said it was not the councils' position to comment on individual cases.

Irish Independent

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