Limerick widow says she won’t be moved from home despite it being earmarked for demolition

Ryan O'Rourke

Reporter:

Ryan O'Rourke

Email:

ryan.orourke@limerickleader.ie

Limerick widow says she won’t be moved from home despite it being earmarked for demolition

Noelle and Eileen O'Malley and Geraldine Mulcahy outside their home in O'Malley Park | Picture: Michael Cowhey

AN ELDERLY widow says she will not be moved from her home, despite the fact that her house has been earmarked for demolition as part of the Limerick Regeneration programme.

Eileen O’Malley, 76, says her home is suffering from dampness after her neighbours’ houses were knocked four years ago.

Eileen has been widowed for the past eight years. Her husband, John, was an army veteran of 30 years. 

Her daughters, Noelle O’Malley and Geraldine Mulcahy say they don’t understand how she can be asked to leave, as she owns the property.

“My mother has been living here for the last 49 years. She owns her own house and now they say the house is earmarked for demolition. She is not willing to get her house knocked because it’s her home,” Geraldine said.

“She is one of the forgotten few. She has been left isolated and alone. They have forgotten the older generation, the ones who started Southill.

“They are being bullied to be leaving their homes. They want to move her out, but she doesn’t want to go,” she added.

Noelle says her mother has been denied grants which would help improve the house, due to it being earmarked for demolition.

Eileen suffers from a series of medical ailments including arthritis and a heart condition. 

“We don’t want a palace. We just want the dampness dealt with and the windows and doors fixed. She is entitled to a grant to put in a stairlift and a downstairs bathroom, but she can’t get them, because the house is earmarked for demolition,” said Noelle.

“The whole floor outside when you come in had to be replaced, we replaced it. Two years ago we got new floorboards, new beams, we brought back down the brick and built it back up. Her kitchen is subsiding as well. We already did one half of it, and it just feels like we are throwing money at it for nothing,” she added.

Noelle is worried that if her mother leaves the home, the house will be given to someone else. 

“My father and mother worked all their life to own this house. My mother was a lollipop lady. It is their pride and joy. She loves her garden. She has raised eight kids, 15 grandkids and three great grandkids in this home and they just expect her to leave,” said Noelle.

“I maintain that if mom got up tomorrow morning, packed her stuff and left out the front door, they would come in the back door and do it up and give it to someone else. They just don’t care, to them they are just a number.

“They are waiting for her to give up. Her biggest fear is they would do it all up and just give it to someone else,” she added.

Independent election candidate Noel Hannan blasted the council over the situation. 

“It is a total disgrace they way the Regeneration has treated Mrs O’Malley.

“Her late Husband, John O’Malley, served this country for 30 years in the army, and this is the thanks they show. Eileen is being punished for owning her own house,” Mr Hannan added. 

In response to the comments, a  spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council said: “Limerick City and County Council does not comment on individual cases as it doesn’t believe in discussing a customer’s personal details in a public forum.

“Limerick City and County Council urges those who have issues with the houses to make contact with Customer Services to discuss the situation.”