Family devastated by eviction
BY MICHAEL PIERSE
A Dublin family were forced to roam the streets as the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) failed to provide them with emergency accommodation.
Mother of three, Margaret McAllister, was devastated two months ago when her landlord forced her family out of their home. After a stay in emergency accommodation, Margaret's nightmare worsened two weeks ago, when she and her children were thrown out and forced to roam the streets.
It was only after an approach by Margaret to the Evening Herald that the ERHA was ``embarrassed'' into accommodating the family, she says. She says an article and lobbying conducted on her behalf by the Dublin newspaper forced the authority to take action.
Now that the family have been given some shelter, Margaret's main priority is to get her family back together. While her 15-year-old son Samuel has been housed in hostel accommodation in Eccles Street in the city centre, Margaret says he is desperately unhappy there. This, coupled with the fact that she and her two daughters Marie (13) and Susan (11), have been given a hostel miles away from Samuel - on the outskirts of Dublin - is leading to a lot of anguish for the family.
The hostel where Margaret, Marie and Susan are staying, in Howth, Co Dublin, is also far from ideal. A lack of washing facilities mean that the girls are forced to wear dirty clothes, while they have also been deprived of their schooling throughout this whole ordeal.
Margaret says she and her family ``have lost everything''. With nowhere to store their furniture, clothes, school books and family photos, they have had to abandon all their household goods. Her children are frightened and profoundly affected by their lack of stability, she says, and with Christmas around the corner, they can only hope that the Health Authority will take action.