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Friday 24 May 2019

'I had no idea the housing situation was this bad'

Public relations student Derek Owens. Picture: Mark Condren
Public relations student Derek Owens. Picture: Mark Condren

Derek Owens

WHEN choosing my third-level course in public relations at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), I always knew I would spend the second half of third year on work placement.

I saw that opportunity as a big bonus and was thrilled when I was offered my internship in a state agency in Ballsbridge, Co Dublin, starting last January.

Living in Navan, Co Meath, I decided the commute would be difficult and the only alternative was to seek student accommodation in the capital.

Having never lived in Dublin as a student I was unaware of the issues around finding a place to live and always assumed places would open up as a result of other students leaving, perhaps to go on placements around the country.

I had no idea there was such a shortage of housing and especially such a shortage of short-term housing. I wasn't expecting luxury of any sort. I hoped for anything to avoid the twice daily, rush-hour bus journey followed by a trip on the DART. My search went on and on – calling numbers from websites, with calls going unanswered or with very little being available.

What was really frustrating was that I was reading adverts promising student accommodation for great prices of €99 a week, but when I enquired they were far from anything like the advert stated.

My friends endured similar experiences and spoke about the high prices they had to pay to ensure they could get the accommodation they needed.

In the end, I knew I had to bite the bullet and plough through the bus and train timetables. So, I have spent the past five months on early-morning commutes, relying on coffee to give me the energy to kickstart my day.

Irish Independent

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