herald

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Girl and dad made to share tiny room

A MAN has been forced to share a cramped room in a Dublin hotel with his teenage daughter for seven months.

Willie Abbott (45) and his daughter, Saoirse Hynes (14), are living in a Travelodge twin room along with all their possessions.

It has no cooker or fridge, meaning they have to eat out every day at chippers and pizzerias, despite Mr Abbott having to survive on €188 social welfare payments plus €29.80 a week for Saoirse.

When Saoirse gets changed, she has to ask her father to go out of the room, and when he has a shower she has to step outside.

STRUGGLE

Mr Abbott previously rented an apartment in Ballymun, but the lease ran out and he was unable to find alternative accommodation.

He told the Herald: "Saoirse deserves better than this. She deserves her own room.

"She is doing great in school and she plays under-16 football for Leinster."

Apart from sleeping in the same room, all their possessions are there too, meaning there is a struggle for space and privacy.

"It's very cramped. It's unbelievable," said Mr Abbott. But he said that the staff in the Travelodge in Ballymun are "fantastic".

Fine Gael councillor Gerry Breen has been trying to help the devoted father of two who also has a son Sean (13).

The children's mother died in 2011.

Mr Breen said he will take Mr Abbott to a meeting today with officials from the homeless section of Dubin City Council.

"He is a very genuine fella who is trying to do his best for his kids," he said.

He has been on the housing list since 2009, but Mr Breen pointed out there are people who have been on it for 10 or 12 years.

Dublin City Council does not discuss individual cases, but it did say: "We use hotels as a last resort, especially for families, to avoid the experience of rough sleeping."

hnews@herald.ie

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