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Tuesday 23 July 2019

Mum tells of joy after being given home for children

Joy: When Amy showed her children the house they didn’t believe it was theirs. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Joy: When Amy showed her children the house they didn’t believe it was theirs. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A homeless family are set to get their "forever home" months after two of them were forced to sleep in a Garda station.

Amy O'Reilly (27) photographed her young daughter Kya sleeping in Ballyfermot garda station in May to highlight the conditions she and her children were living in.

Seven months later, the family are finally moving into a social home in Ballyfermot, near to her children's school. Amy, who is set to mark Christmas in her new home, said: "This is a big thing, I'm overwhelmed. I was crying when I heard we had finally found a home."

Amy said the children - Kya (10), Skyler (7) and Cruise (6) - "didn't believe me when I took them up to see the house". She added: "They told me they wished they had a house and I said, 'Oh, the door is open'.

"I walked in and said 'This is our house', and the kids started crying.

"It was very emotional but they still didn't believe me. Then they saw me bringing stuff in and realised it was all true - we had our own home, like Christmas come early."

Amy is now keen to return to her studies and become a psychotherapist.

The mother of three wants to ensure her family now have the best possible chance of success and believes education is the way ahead.

"I want to help people who are suffering and I feel that I could bring a lot to the role," she said. Amy took the tough decision to photograph Kya sleeping on chairs, pulled together into a makeshift bed in the Garda station, to highlight their plight.

And though the family are elated they're set to move into a newly built social home, the road they've walked has been arduous and they'll never forget the experience.

A Department of Housing spokesman said: "The Government is committed to minimising the use of hotels and B&Bs for emergency accommodation and is rolling out a programme of family hubs to ensure that more suitable emergency accommodation is available for families experiencing homelessness."

Irish Independent

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