Cancer patient appeals to council for help

by Rebecca Ryan

A Monkstown pensioner who is undergoing stage four cancer treatment has been waiting nearly a year for the boiler in her council home to be fixed.

Frances Byrne Waters (74) was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2016 and said the broken central heating system is affecting her recovery.

She told Dublin Gazette there is an extremely loud noise coming from the boiler when it is on and despite numerous attempts of asking the council to fix it, the problem still has not been resolved.

“I called the council on St Patrick’s weekend last year and told them I had a problem with the boiler, so the guy came up and put oil in it and told me he would be back after the holiday.

“Then we got the snow. Then I rang again and [I was told] that the gas guy put in a new fan. So, he contradicted me about that. I asked was he calling me a liar.

“So, then I got my solicitor to write a letter to the CEO of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown requesting it to be fixed. It still hasn’t been fixed.”

She explained: “The problem of the noise is unbelievable. I can’t go to bed after my treatment because [the noise] is worse upstairs. Even the neighbours can hear it.

“It is affecting my rest. I can’t sleep or rest with the noise. I leave [the heating] on when I’m out in the day and when I go home, I have to switch it off.”

Frances’ Oncologist also wrote to the council last December stating the importance of Frances having a working heating system in the house as she is undergoing chemotherapy and is more sensitive to the cold.

“It is recognised that people that require chemotherapy are more sensitive to the cold temperatures and often require heating throughout the year, not just during the colder winter months.

“Bearing this in mind we would appreciate any assistance in ensuring Frances has adequate functioning central heating in her home particularly as we progress into the winter months,” said the letter.

When asked about Frances’ situation, a spokesperson from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council told Dublin Gazette that they do not comment on individual cases and that they monitor gas central heating boilers in council properties.

“The boilers are serviced on an annual basis. The council takes seriously all maintenance requests, including those relating to all gas boilers and responds accordingly in a timely manner to carry out safety inspections and repairs when required.”

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