Appeal for site for paralysed Limerick woman's 'dream home'

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Patricia Ingle with her niece Layla McSweeney, from Dromkeen, at the launch of her book

Patricia Ingle with her niece Layla McSweeney, from Dromkeen, at the launch of her book

THE family of a Limerick woman awarded €10.6m in the High Court after contracting a rare disease have issued an appeal to land owners to help them locate a site to build a “dream home” for her.

Planning permission was refused by An Bord Pleanala last month to allow Patricia Ingle, 28, to build a home in Murroe, which architects stated would be “most suitable to her unique and self-evident needs”.

The plans were refused following a single objection, after the family scoured the locality for appropriate sites for years given her requirements.

“It doesn’t matter how many sites we have to visit or look at, it’s what Patricia wants,” said mum Annette.

“It would break our heart to leave Murroe. It would be wonderful if someone had a site which she could make her own, with a beautiful garden, and a vegetable plot, and have some animals. It would be her home for life.”

Ms Ingle was left paralysed and brain damaged after contracting a rare disease in 2008, allegedly from inhaling dust from the faeces of parrots in a pet store in Limerick.

Since then, she has received rolling payments, now totalling more than €10.6m from the High Court in a personal injuries settlement, after taking a case against the Health Service Executive, PetMania Ltd and its parent company.

She remains dependent on a ventilator, has to be tube fed, is in a wheelchair, and requires constant care.

Her family said that they had examined between 50 and 60 potential sites for a purpose-built home for Ms Ingle in recent years, but the site of the refused plans in Murroe represented the most suitable location for her.

“She is still heartbroken by the decision by An Bord Pleanala, and she would love to stay in Murroe ideally, as we have received such great support here from the community,” her father Pat told the Limerick Leader.

He said they are seeking in the region of two and a half acres on which to build a site, in line with the specifications for the previous site, or an open-plan ground floor home, which could be adapted to her needs.

“We are willing to look at any home, and already some local farmers have approached us, but unfortunately the sites are not suitable. We have been looking constantly at sites or for a suitable home but to no avail, and are keeping our options open and don’t want to limit ourselves,” he said.

Originally from Limerick city, the family moved to Murroe six years ago, but say her current home is not suitable for her needs, and its space is insufficient given the care she requires.

Her family said that she continues to require “a mini-industry” of health professionals nine years ago since she suddenly fell ill.

Due to the “catastrophic” injuries sustained, which led her to spend over 1,000 days in hospital, she requires care 24 hours a day, including a care nurse and a health care assistant, night and day. She has also requires speech therapy, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a psychologist.

The plans for a six-bedroom home for Ms Ingle and her family on a 3.7 hectare site in Murroe were granted planning permission by Limerick City and County Council in November last, but appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

Annette said the decision was “devastating” for Patricia and all the family given months of anticipation. 

“She loved that site, and we had all been so very hopeful, as other potential sites had fallen through. She was heartbroken and so are we for her. It was another cruel blow for Patricia. She has gone through an awful lot of disappointment in her life and this was the latest one in a long road.”

They said that she does not desire to live alone in sheltered accommodation, but in a family home, where they can support each other.

If you have a suitable site for the Ingles, please email annettemarieingle@gmail.com