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Family of 12 are evicted over €300 shortfall in rent – now council put them in hotel costing €6,000pm

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Diarmuid Purcell and Sandra Wilson pictured with their children (from left); Scott (9), Tate (8mths), Ruby (5), Kayleigh (13), Casey (1), Dale (4), Ciara (12), Sasha (8), Lee (15) and Devon (2) at their Whitehall home yesterday.

Diarmuid Purcell and Sandra Wilson pictured with their children (from left); Scott (9), Tate (8mths), Ruby (5), Kayleigh (13), Casey (1), Dale (4), Ciara (12), Sasha (8), Lee (15) and Devon (2) at their Whitehall home yesterday.

Dessie Ellis,Sinn Fein deputy for Dublin North West  at the Dublin City Count Centre at City West.Pic Tom Burke 1/6/12

Dessie Ellis,Sinn Fein deputy for Dublin North West at the Dublin City Count Centre at City West.Pic Tom Burke 1/6/12

16 May 2013   Diarmuid Purcell with three of his children; Lee, 15, Kayleight, 13, and Ruby, 5. Bewley's Hotel, Newland's Cross, Dublin.  Picture Credit: Caroline Quinn

16 May 2013 Diarmuid Purcell with three of his children; Lee, 15, Kayleight, 13, and Ruby, 5. Bewley's Hotel, Newland's Cross, Dublin. Picture Credit: Caroline Quinn

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Diarmuid Purcell and Sandra Wilson pictured with their children (from left); Scott (9), Tate (8mths), Ruby (5), Kayleigh (13), Casey (1), Dale (4), Ciara (12), Sasha (8), Lee (15) and Devon (2) at their Whitehall home yesterday.

A FAMILY of 12 are being housed in a busy hotel at more than four times the cost of the home they were forced to move out of this week.

The Purcells were evicted on Monday because they couldn't afford to pay the €1,250 rent on their home.

Officials in the Department of Social Protection refused to breach the maximum €950 rent supplement cap in order to help them stay in a house in Whitehall, Dublin.

Now the taxpayer is funding a hotel stay for the family at a cost of up to €6,000 a month.

Once they became homeless, the family became the responsibility of Dublin City Council, which found accommodation for them in the three-star Bewleys Hotel in Newlands Cross.

Dad Diarmuid Purcell told the Herald that he is "deeply saddened" by the move and doesn't want taxpayers footing the massive bill.

 

DISCOUNT

Diarmuid (44), his wife Sandra (38) and 10 children have moved into three rooms at the hotel, which quotes weekly prices of around €500 for one adult and three children. The council refused to say if it is getting any discount on the standard rate.

The family has pleaded to be given a home through social housing and say it "sickens them" that the hefty hotel bill is being picked up by the taxpayer.

"We don't want to be a burden. We are deeply saddened about being here. It might appear like luxury, but I can't even heat up a bottle for my baby," he told the Herald.

The City Council refused to comment on the family's circumstances and won't say whether they have looked for reduced rates with the hotel in question.

The hotel is located close to the busy Red Cow roundabout and the family say that the children – aged between eight months and 15 years – have nowhere to play.

"We don't want to live in the Bahamas," Diarmuid said. "All we want is to have a roof over our head – where we are together – so that we can live as a family. The stress this is causing is unreal. We have no cooking facilities and the kids are just sitting in their rooms all day.

"My son has his Junior Cert coming up – and the school is in Ballymun and extremely difficult for us to get to. We are pleading, just pleading with all our hearts to be given somewhere permanent to live."

Dublin City Council previously used a different Bewleys Hotel in order to house some of the displaced Priory Hall families.

Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis said the Purcell family are in a "desperate situation".

 

JOKE

"This is an absolute joke. Here you have a family who are saying they don't want to stay in this hotel – all they want is a basic home. They need a five-bed home for their size, in my view. It's just a desperate situation."

The Herald first highlighted the family's plight earlier this month. They have sought a home through social housing from Dublin City Council, but they have been told that none are available.

After leaving their rented home, they were told that the hotel on the Naas Road is the "only option available".

The family are booked to stay in this hotel until May 27 – and have no idea where they will end up then.

It means that the taxpayer could be saddled with a bill running into thousands of euro because the council says there is no house available.

The couple are unemployed and are left with €750 every month to pay for bills after the rent is paid.

They have lived for the past four and a half years in Roscommon as part of a rural relocation scheme by Dublin City Council.

However, when their allowance under the relocation scheme fell behind the price of their rental accommodation, they returned to the capital in the hope of finding a suitable house there. By leaving this scheme, they effectively made themselves homeless.

Both Dublin City Council and the Department of Social Protection have confirmed that they are aware of the family's circumstances.

noconnor@herald.ie


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