A LIMERICK man with eight children said he will continue his one man picket outside City Hall indefinitely until he gets a bigger house to expand his family even further.
For the past six weeks, Jason Casey, 42, has staged a silent protest outside Limerick City Council, claiming that the local authority is “discriminating against larger families.”
He and his wife Vicky, who live in Glenbrook, Childers Road have been on the housing waiting list for 10 years, but haven’t given up hope of getting a bigger home.
The couple and their six daughters and two sons, aged eight months to 11, currently live in a three-bedroomed house.
He said ideally he would like a four-bedroomed house, but would “accept anything” the council offers. To date, he said they haven’t offered his family another home, and are currently renting privately. Mr Casey, who has been unemployed for two years since “the building business went bust”, said they hope to have another two children “God willing”, bringing the number of their offspring up to 10.
He told the Limerick Leader that while social welfare and children’s allowances from the State are “very generous”, that is not why they’re having a large family.
“We’re having kids because we love them. I’m an Irish man and a Roman Catholic. This is a Catholic country and we’re entitled to have as many kids as we like,” he said.
“I think the welfare state in Ireland is very generous. We manage and we manage well.”
But he said he doesn’t want to be in receipt of social welfare. “I want to earn a crust. I am willing to stand on my own two feet. I don’t want my kids to see me begging off of the State. I want them to see me coming home at 5 or 6 o’clock and saying ‘What did you do today in work Daddy?’ I want them to see that the way to go isn’t the dole, or to be begging off of the State. The State should be there behind families helping them to get off the dole and get proper accommodation,” he said.
Mr Casey said he would take any job and has sent out CVs to no avail. He also believes people in receipt of social welfare should volunteer in the community to improve their area, and said he’s willing to do this.