Limerick City Council still open to negotiations with family over home

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

LIMERICK City Council has said it is willing to engage with St Mary’s Park woman Majella Johnson on finding a new home - despite seeing their offer of €60,000 rejected.

LIMERICK City Council has said it is willing to engage with St Mary’s Park woman Majella Johnson on finding a new home - despite seeing their offer of €60,000 rejected.

Jean Ryan, of City Hall’s housing department was speaking after the mother-of-five made contact with the Limerick Leader expressing fears for the safety of her children.

This came after the house next door to her was targeted by a petrol bomb.

The petrol bomb clipped the walls of her home and left Majella and her young children living in fear.

A man in his 20s has been charged in relation to the incident at Colmcille Avenue.

Despite initially saying she was not aware of making any offer to Ms Johnson, Ms Ryan now said City Council did offer to buy her out for €60,000.

This followed a valuation by an independent assessor.

But Ms Johnson wants to be given “a house for a house” - and fears €60,000 will not be enough to get her back onto the property ladder again.

Ms Johnson was critical of Limerick City Council for moving tenants to different parts of the city.

But this is something Ms Ryan rejected: “In relation to what she said regarding the council favouring tenants over homeowners, we have relocated both within St Mary’s Park and outside St Mary’s Park 47 homeowners and 18 tenants, so she is totally off the mark there.”

The council official insisted: “We are still open to talking to her about the purchasing of her house if she wants to come in and do this. Obviously, our valuations are independent, and we cannot go above this.”

And she added now someone has been charged in relation to the petrol bomb attack in the estate, she would hope “this brings all the incidences” to an end.

“We will be keeping an eye on what develops given that a man has been charged in relation to that one incident. If that brings all the incidences to an end, obviously she will not have worries going forward.”

As well as engaging with Limerick City Council, Ms Johnson - who has three children under the age of 18 - has been lobbying Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan, and Fianna Fail Deputy Willie O’Dea.

A first attack in the east-side estate in January prompted the concern, with Ms Johnson’s youngest daughter Laci writing a letter to her mother explaining how frightened she is.