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'Our prayers have been answered ... in the nick of time'


Alan and Anne Doolan enjoying their new home

Alan and Anne Doolan enjoying their new home

Justine Reilly one of the new residents in her apartment

Justine Reilly one of the new residents in her apartment

Colm Mahady / Fennells

Alan and Anne Doolan enjoying their new home

Alan Doolan was just one day away from having to move into emergency accommodation with his wife Anna.

He lost his job as a cleaner in September, and was facing a significant hike in the rent of their apartment.

The couple were on the Dublin City Council's list for housing for seven years, according to Alan (42) who is originally from Clondalkin.

However, their prayers were answered thanks to the National Association of Building Co-operatives (NABCO), Ireland's co-operative housing provider, which yesterday officially handed over the keys of 20 newly finished apartments in Inchicore to families from Dublin City Council's housing list.

The development comprises a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

"We got in touch with a few TDs after I lost my job," said Alan, who married Anne in 2012.

Prior to this, the couple had been renting an apartment in Dublin for €750 a month, but the rent was going up to €1,000 which was too much.

They were due to move out on October 14. "We would have had to go into emergency accommodation," he said.

"It was a big worry. I had lost my job and was now losing my place."

Alan said that he had been in touch with TDs.

They got information about NABCO and went to three meetings.

Just the day before they were due to move out of their accommodation, they got the keys to their new Inchicore apartment, and they were able to move straight in.

He said words can't express how he felt when he and his 30-year-old wife found out that they got had the apartment. "I was delighted. I was nearly crying."

The new place is "absolutely brilliant."

"I have a dishwasher. I love cooking and have a proper fan oven.

"We love it, we absolutely love it. It is the best thing ever. It's funny the way things fall into place," said Alan, who would love to be a chef.

Also moved into the Inchicore development is Justine Reilly (48), who has moved into a one-bedroom apartment.

"The whole basis is built around community, people being responsible for the area and the apartments and the area where you are living," she said.

Justine (above) had been on the housing list for about two years. "I couldn't believe my luck at the beautiful place I got.

"It is great to be somewhere you have a bit of a say in it," said Justine who is originally from Blessington in Co Wicklow and is single.