'Zianna can't wait to turn her room into fairy castle'
CHRISTMAS came early for 21 Dublin families yesterday after they received the keys to their new homes just in time for Santa to visit.
Daryl Mahon became a Habitat for Humanity Ireland homeowner and will come off the growing Dublin City Council housing waiting list after receiving the keys to his new home near the North Circular Road.
While working as an addiction counsellor in a drug rehabilitation centre, Daryl has been sleeping on a couch in his friend's one-bedroom flat for the past nine months because he could not afford to rent a place of his own.
During this time, his two young children Zayne (3) and Zianna (4) were staying with their mother in Tipperary, leading to long weekend commutes so he could see them.
Now, the children will be able to live with him in their new three-bedroomed home and Daryl is delighted.
"I still can't believe I have a house with a bedroom for each of the kids now. It still hasn't sunk in," he said.
"It's been great to see the kids so excited about having their own rooms. Zianna can't wait to move in and turn her room into a fairy castle," he added.
Their home was previously left vacant, used as a dumping ground and subjected to anti-social behaviour but was completely renovated after work by the family, Habitat Ireland and volunteers.
"It's amazing to know that so many people donated time and money to help make this fantastic opportunity possible for us," said Daryl.
Meanwhile, 20 more families received keys to apartments in Inchicore after NABCO, Ireland's co-operative housing provider, invested €650,000 to finish a vacant development.