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crisis could put my ill newborn's life at risk

THE mother of a five-month-old baby with a life-threatening disease fears they are about to become homeless.

Charlene Foley (26) has just over a month to locate a new home after Dublin City Council refused her application to be added to the priority social housing list.

The single mother-of-three gave birth to her youngest daughter, Hallie, five months ago only to discover that the newborn had congenital heart disease.

Ms Foley spent the first 16 weeks in hospital with her daughter.

They returned home for the next five weeks before having to return to hospital more than a week ago, where her baby still remains.

Originally from Ballymun, Ms Foley has lived in rented properties in Finglas for the past four years, but was informed by her landlord that they intend to sell her home, and that she will have to move out in January.

However, Ms Foley, who wishes to return to her native Ballymun fears she will be forced to register as homeless despite being urged not to do so by her doctor.

She explained that Dublin City Council had refused her application to be added to the priority list.

The local authority stated in a letter that it was reserved for "cases of exceptional medical circumstances" and that "on the basis of the information supplied, overall medical priority was not awarded".

"The Chief Medical Officer has determined that the condition does not cause major problems of an exceptional nature that merit an award of medical priority for a change in your current housing situation," the letter stated.

A second letter, sent to the council on behalf of Ms Foley from her GP, warned that they need a home urgently.

"This woman and her three children are in rented accommodation and have been given notice to leave as the apartment is being sold," the medical worker wrote.

The GP said Hallie "has a complex congenital heart disease which is life-threatening and cannot be cured" and added they "cannot stress enough how inappropriate this would be and detrimental to Hallie's health if not her life" if she was forced into a homeless hostel.

Ms Foley said her parents have been minding her two other children in Ballymun while she was with Hallie in hospital.

She told the Herald: "All I want is a house there."

Dublin City Council said it was unable to comment.

hnews@herald.ie


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