Wednesday 20 November 2019

Mother and nine children left with 'no choice' but to live in tents after losing home

Keely Jones: Paul Byrne TV3
Keely Jones: Paul Byrne TV3

Ralph Riegel

A MOTHER of nine warned she was left with no choice but to move into a series of tents near a popular Cork beach when she became homeless after losing her rented accommodation.

Keely Jones and her children, aged from six months to 17 years, are now living in a number of tents erected near the seaside at Piltown in east Cork.

They moved into the tented accommodation four days ago after they had to move out of the house Keely had been renting for five years because the landlord wanted vacant possession, so he could sell it.

"It (the tents) are better than emergency accommodation," she said. "We were spending days packing and then unpacking and packing again when he had to move emergency accommodation."

"All we were getting were a couple of days here and there." 

Demand for such emergency housing was acute because it is the height of the tourist season.

In desperation, Keely set up the tents at Piltown for her and the children. 

"We have a temporary toilet, sensor lights and tents to sleep in," she said.

A portable table serves as their kitchen table. While it has been workable because of the idyllic recent weather conditions, Keely is worried about what will happen if Ireland returns to more traditional weather.

"That is my fear - what are we going to do if it rains bad or there is a storm," she said. "It is working for us now, but it is not a future for us."

"We can't stay here forever but it took the pressure off for a little while."

Keely, who is originally from the UK, said she doesn't want charity but is merely asking for someone safe and secure for her children.

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