Family of 18 cramped into two mobile homes

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A SOUTHILL family of 18 forced to live in two mobiles homes, are pleading with Limerick City Council to complete work at their site- a year after it was promised.

The Casey’s have endured two winters without basic facilities at the Toppins Field Halting site.

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“The facilities here aren’t safe for children. These mobile homes are old and damp and all we had to heat them is a two-bar heater,” complained father Billy Casey

In June 2009, families living on the site were informed that finances had been made available to repair and upgrade services, and work would commence in September 2009.

However, they were later told that works would not commence until the January 2010.

“We’re trapped in a puzzle that we can’t get out of… we have been trying to find accommodation for nine or ten years and we’re going around in circles”.

There is no hot water and the family share one toilet.

Added Billy: “Why won’t they do something for us? We pay our rent every week and this place isn’t fit for human habitation”.

Both he and his wife Philomena, are at breaking point, and have demanded that Limerick City Council address their problem.

Philomena described the family’s situation as an emergency:

“We are living in cramped conditions compared to other sites around Limerick”.

Their utility building is hidden by one of the two caravans squashed into their bay, and Philomena is concerned that rodents are regular visitors:

“A rat came up out the drain when one of the girls was in the shower… my children can’t live in these conditions”.

The roof is also damaged and leaking heavily onto to live electrical wires.

“I have two children with health problems; one is asthmatic and another has a kidney ailment”.

The Toppins Field halting site is to be demolished next year as part of Southside Regeneration, but Billy feels that this is not an excuse to ignore his family.

A spokesperson from Limerick City Council said that delays that have occurred on this project have not been on the fault of the council.

They also confirmed that money has been sanctioned from the Department of the Environment, and they are anxious to complete the works.