‘I find this situation very stressful’
A Mullagh cancer patient is at risk of being made homeless due to a delay connecting water to his new home.
Peter Brennan was offered a council house in March of this year but has yet to receive a lease or move in date.
“It’s a horrible situation for myself. I have a heart condition and it’s quite serious and I’m also getting treatment at the moment for cancer,” says Peter, visibly anxious about the situation in which he finds himself. Unfortunately, under the impression he would be moving into his new home in May, Peter ended his tenancy agreement.
“I’m now dependent on the landlord’s good will. I don’t know where I stand legally and I don’t have a lease. I’ve no peace of mind at all. I’ve been told to avoid stress and I’ve tried to avoid it but I find this situation very stressful.”
Peter’s house is one of four homes built by the Mullagh Housing Association in partnership with Cavan County Council. The houses have stood empty for months, waiting to be connected by Irish Water.
Chairman of the committee, Richard Murphy, says the organisation is sick of “jumping through hoops” for Irish Water.
“You can actually see how straight forward it is, the pipes are right there, all they have to do is connect them. It couldn’t be easier. They don’t have to dig up the road or anything,” he despaired.
When asked to explain the delay, an Irish Water representative said: “A number of items are outstanding. When all outstanding issues are addressed, the connection can be given to the Irish Water regional contractor. Once received by the contractor, they will seek the necessary consents and schedule it into their ongoing work.”
“Look, they have nothing but excuses”, Richard says shaking his head. “Any time they tell us what they need, we give it to them immediately, then they ask for something else. They won’t give us a list of everything we need to give. If they don’t ask for something we can’t give it to them!”
“A government organisation is supposed to work for the people, not the other way around. For a charity organisation to have to deal with this is completely backwards.”
Mullagh Housing Association spokesperson, Leslie Fox, is equally frustrated by the situation. “I couldn’t call this scandalous, it’s beyond scandalous.”
“We had to provide €24,000 to connect all four houses to the water, plus a further deposit of €7,000.
“The water is literally at the road and we’re just waiting on the approval from Irish Water to connect it.”
The houses are part of a small estate ‘Sonas’, which offers housing solutions for the elderly. “These houses are for people who are on the housing list within the county of Cavan and people who are in need. Older people will come to these particular houses because they’re single story, they’re very easy to maintain and all the gardens are kept for them.”
The houses are partially funded by Cavan County Council. Therefore, the local authority is responsible for allocating three out of four properties.