By Rose Barrett
A mum-of-four has told of her family’s misery living in a cramped two-bed maisonette riddled with rising damp.
Charlene Hatton and her partner Eric Morris have to paint their home at Lissadell Road in Drimnagh twice a year in a bid to hide the mould.
Last week the fed-up couple applied six coats of paint to one room alone – and after 13 years and despite repeated complaints Charlene is at her wits’ end.
She told Dublin Gazette: “We treat and wash down the mould and then paint twice or even three times a year – the mould comes back within three months.
“We’ve complained repeatedly over the years, and the place was checked by engineers who said it was condensation.
“The council put in electric vents in my kitchen and bathroom which made no difference.”
Charlene’s children – aged 22, 16, nine and six – live in dire, damp and cramped conditions with no privacy and no hope of being rehomed any time soon.
She claims she accepted the council’s offer of the maisonette 13 years ago on the understanding that it was temporary and she would get a bigger house.
She said: “But recession kicked in, and plans to knock the maisonettes were abandoned. The council reps said there were families worse off than mine, and I’m still trying to get onto the priority list.”
She added: “Despite my doctor writing letters, we’ve been rejected three times on medical grounds, and twice on social grounds, it’s a joke.
“Eric and I spend most of our time in the tiny kitchen to give the children some privacy and TV time in the living room.
“My 22 year-old daughter works part time and is doing an unpaid apprenticeship. She needs time to study and proper rest so we have a double bed, two bunk beds and a small cot bed in one bedroom.
“All of the children have issues, and sneeze constantly. The two younger ones have chronic asthma, as have I. We have to use inhalers and I’m on tablets too.
“Can you imagine what it’s like with six of us in a small apartment, there’s no privacy, no escape from each other? Lockdown was a nightmare.
“I’m depressed at the thought of never getting out of here.”
Dublin City Council (DCC) said it does not comment on individual cases.
It noted a number of routine repair requests were carried out on the property in recent years and that DCC intends to upgrade the properties in Lissadel Road and is exploring options for this.