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Trinity lecturer living in hostels as he struggles to find a home in Dublin


Niall Kennedy has been living in hostels while lecturing in French at Trinity

Niall Kennedy has been living in hostels while lecturing in French at Trinity

Niall Kennedy has been living in hostels while lecturing in French at Trinity

A lecturer at Trinity College has been forced to live in hostels in Dublin due to the accommodation crisis.

Niall Kennedy, a teaching fellow in French, has been struggling to find an affordable place to live since returning to work in September.

The 40-year-old, originally from Scotland, claims living in hostels is “unhealthy” and he’s been finding it difficult to concentrate on his work.

“I’m a long-standing lecturer, but even with years of experience, you can still end up like this. This is how desperate the situation is,” he said.

“At night it’s hard when you’re looking over your notes and thinking about what you’re going to do for classes tomorrow.

“I’m in an eight-bed dorm now. I’ve shared dorms with stag parties. It keeps me entertained whenever you find them passed out on the toilet, but I can’t reasonably do a focused job when this is how I live.

“There’s just no quiet place for me to work. I must prepare classes, I have to write references for people, and I'm planning conferences.

“There’s a bar in the common rooms - it’s not the right environment to focus when I’m meant to be getting research done. Hostels are not very healthy, that’s why I have this cough,” he added.

Niall, who is on a nine-month contract, is “struggling to keep his head above water” while making around €26,000 per annum. He hopes to get a permanent job soon.

“I’ve been commuting from Antrim where my family has a flat I can stay in on the weekends. I can’t do that every day, so I spend Monday to Thursday in a hostel.

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“That’s costing me about €1,000-a-month because every night, hostels are €40 to €60, even dormitories.

“It’s damaging to your mental health and it really frustrates my work. Trinity don’t pay me for research, but if I’ve any hope of getting a permanent job I have to be published in journals and so on.

“But I’m not paid for it, so it’s very hard to do that when you’re also trying to keep your head above water in the situation we’re living in.”

The lecturer said he’s on the search for accommodation in Dublin, but believes “it’s so much worse” than during the pandemic.

“When my contract ended in June, I had a flat in Dublin, but I couldn’t possibly afford it when I wasn't working during the summer,” he said.

“I came back in September and it’s worse than I thought it would be. I’ve been applying everywhere, but haven’t been able to secure anything.

“I got to one viewing, and it was something like €1,800 for a tiny studio apartment. I can’t get a mortgage as no bank will give me one on a nine-month contract without security.”

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