Widow of Limerick murder victim on housing list for 11 years

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Janette Crawford points to the spot beside her cooker where she says rats have eaten through the wall. Picture: Dave Gaynor
A WOMAN who says she has been waiting to be rehoused by Limerick City Council since her husband was murdered 11 years ago said she is dreading the thought of spending another winter in substandard private accommodation.

A WOMAN who says she has been waiting to be rehoused by Limerick City Council since her husband was murdered 11 years ago said she is dreading the thought of spending another winter in substandard private accommodation.

Janette Crawford insisted this week that she had not been made any offer of accommodation since her late husband was beaten and hacked to death outside their council house in Ballygrennan Close, Moyross, in June 2002.

“I was offered nothing. I don’t care where it is once it’s my own and I can call it home. They took our home off us and left us homeless.

Mrs Crawford claimed it was Limerick City Council which suggested the family move out of Moyross for their own safety after the murder. She insisted the local authority had yet to make an offer of new accommodation despite her regular visits to the housing department. Officials, she said, were also aware of her complaints about her current accommodation, which she says is cold and has a vermin problem. With her daughter expecting her first child, these were no circumstances in which to bring a baby into the world.

“She is due a baby in February. How could we have a baby in here with all that going on,” she said, pointing to rat poison she had laid.

“We caught one in here before. We put in other traps and they ran away with them. They are eating through the wall near the cooker. I came out one morning and the meat and all was eaten; bread, butter, everything. I can’t keep sugar or nothing. I have to keep it inside in the fridge

“It’s freezing in here, even in the summer. I have the fire going all the time and it’s still freezing. I have three quilts on the bed and I’m still cold.”

Mrs Crawford said she understood that the condition of her rented home in Johnsgate was not the responsibility of Limerick City Council but the local authority was well aware of her situation.

She is being assisted in her complaint by Eddie Bermingham, a survivor of Letterfrack industrial school who at the time of Patrick Crawford’s death was also helping him seek redress from the government for sexual abuse suffered as a child in an institution.

Mr Bermingham acknowledged there were thousands of people on the housing waiting list in Limerick but “they haven’t all been waiting for 11 years like Mrs Crawford”.

“She is only looking for what she is entitled to,” he declared.

A spokesman for Limerick City Council stated the local authority did “not make public comment on individual cases”.

“However, the local authority will follow up the issue raised and deal with it appropriately,” he added.