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Joe's support in Dolphin House fight for better living conditions

RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy lent his support to hundreds of frustrated Dubliners when he chaired a pivotal meeting aimed at solving the accommodation crisis at Dolphin House.

The Liveline presenter joined a panel of experts who revealed that the State is breaching the UN convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights by allowing citizens to live in poor conditions.

There are 436 housing units in the development at Dolphin House in Dolphin's Barn, and three out of four residents are affected with damp.

Four out of five have experienced sewage coming up through their sinks and baths, while a staggering nine out of 10 have suffered health problems including asthma.

Furthermore, tests carried out by NUI Maynooth's biology department showed a level of toxic fungal contamination which is "far greater than that ever recorded in domestic dwellings".

Dr Maurice Manning, president of the Irish Human Rights Commission, said all the evidence indicated that the human rights of residents were being breached.

In a bid to spur the State into action to regenerate the area, residents of Dolphin House opened their doors to reveal the extent of the problem.


Among them was mum-of-three Michelle Tracey, who said she sometimes feels she's "paying to make my kids sick".

The 33-year-old has been a resident of Dolphin House flats for 15 years and is fighting a losing battle against mould, damp and sewage in her two-bedroom flat.

"I'm constantly getting chest infections" she told the Herald. "If I'm sick now, what's it going to be like for my kids? I pay €100 a week to live here but I feel like I'm paying to make my kids sick. I'm banging my head off a brick wall."

Residents have pledged that if their latest efforts fail to convince the Government to regenerate the area, they will consider taking legal action.

The move comes following years of frustration from residents who have been unable to secure vital improvements for their homes.

As Michelle Tracey explained: "When I heard something was being done about this I felt like I had won the Lotto. At last, someone is doing something for us".

Showing the Herald around her home, she remarked: "There is mould all over the bathroom. I've tried everything. I've used Milton, I've repainted at least 10 times."

The situation is so dire that sewage sometimes erupts from the street outside. On bad days, the overflow of excrement comes right up to her door, and she is powerless to stop it.