Disabled Limerick man being evicted from grounds of nursing home

John Barry who is being evicted from his home in Bruree

A 61-YEAR-old disabled man with nowhere else to go is facing eviction after getting notice to quit from a landlord who runs a nursing home next door.

John Barry is officially a tenant of Limerick City and County Council, who are renting his bungalow, owned by a private business, Beech Lodge care facility in Bruree.

He was given notice to quit his home two days after he paid the final installment of a disputed gas bill, in which the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) ruled in his favour at a hearing.

John suffered a heart attack in 2018 and now experiences seizures. He had a stroke in 2020 and has a large clot on his brain which affects his balance so he can only walk by using a rollater.

He became homeless after he left hospital in November 2018 and was subsequently housed by the council in one of 13 bungalows on the grounds of the care home, under a social rental agreement.

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The date Mr Barry was to leave was May 1, 2023. Through his partner and advocate, psychiatric nurse Patricia Summerly, he is appealing the notice’s validity to the RTB.

John was unable to speak with the Limerick Post but Patricia – who lives in Waterford – said that there have been many issues between him and the landlord.

“The landlord was charging for gas at €1 a litre. When we checked, the gas company said the price for private tenants is 58 cents. He took a case to the RTB and they ruled he should pay the reduced amount, which he has done. Two days after that he got a notice to quit, with the landlord saying he needs the house for his son to move into.

“There was another bungalow two doors down that came vacant when the tenants moved out, but there has been no sign of the son moving in there and the landlord has re-advertised it to let for €1,450 a month,” she told the Limerick Post.

There have been ongoing issues, including the gas being cut off for non-payment during the price dispute, leaving John with no heating or hot water in the depths of winter.

“There were problems with a toilet that wouldn’t flush, uncovered, drilled vents letting freezing air in, and a broken shower. John complained to the council and they inspected and told the landlord to get repairs done but not half of them were done,” Patricia said.

In response to a request for comment from the council, a spokesman replied: “Limerick City and County Council does not comment on individual cases, however in cases like the one highlighted, the council would offer alternative accommodation.”

The Limerick Post contacted the owner of the bungalows. He said he did not wish to comment.