Thursday 26 April 2018

'We have lost our freedom' - Homeless mum with disability walks 10km a day in school run nightmare

Mia, Carter and Lisa McManus. Photo: Mark McConville
Mia, Carter and Lisa McManus. Photo: Mark McConville
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A homeless mum with a disability has told how she has to walk 10km a day to drop and collect her daughter from school.

Lisa McManus must also fork out around €25 in taxi fares each day for the school run.

The 27-year-old, made homeless last month, has now begged the council for long-term accommodation for her family.

In a heartbreaking interview with Ms McManus told how she was forced to leave their rented apartment last month after it was seized by the banks.

Unable to find suitable alternative accommodation Ms McManus and her children Mia (8) and Carter (1) became homeless and are now living in the Clayton Hotel in Clonshaugh.

She has decided to keep daughter Mia in Scoil Bhríde, Donaghmede.

“I feel heartbroken that she has lost her friends from where we lived. To move her school would devastate her. She has lost her home.

“She’s a nice girl, she is coping but you can see the sadness there.”

The school is almost five kilometres from the hotel and Ms McManus, who is missing a number of fingers, explained that it is a huge physical and financial drain.

She takes a taxi to school with Mia each morning and then walks back with Carter in the buggy to the hotel.

Mia McManus and brother Carter. Photo: Mark McConville
Mia McManus and brother Carter. Photo: Mark McConville

Ms McManus then returns in the afternoon by foot to collect Mia from school and they all get a taxi home.

They share a small hotel room and Ms McManus said it is a difficult life.

“It is very difficult being cooped up here with two children. We have to eat out every evening because we have nowhere to cook.

“I have to wash any dishes of delph I have in the bathroom sink.”

Ms McManus explains that her daughter - who is due to make her communion this year - has “nowhere green to play”.

She claims she has been refused a travel allowance from the board of education and she feels like she is being pressured to change her daughter’s school.

Lisa said: “Mia tells me it’s hard to sleep at night because of all the noises. The long travel walk is tough and she feels like there is nowhere to play. We lost our freedom.”

Ms McManus has been homeless for a month and she said she is aware that there are other families who have been homeless for significantly longer.

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