Wednesday 23 October 2019

Wexford mum 'trapped' in B&B with children pleads for a house

Elizabeth with her children Bridget (11), Billy (4) and Myles (6) in their B&B accommodation.
Elizabeth with her children Bridget (11), Billy (4) and Myles (6) in their B&B accommodation.


a WEXFORD mother, who for the past four and a half months has been living with her three children in a single room in a Wexford B&B, has made an impassioned plea for help in finding 'a proper house' in which to live.

'I feel useless as a mother. I can't provide a roof over my children's heads,' said Elizabeth Ryan, tears streaming down her face.

Elizabeth had been living with her children, Brigid, aged 11, Myles, aged six, and Billy, aged four, at a rented house in Clonard until earlier this year when the house was re-possessed by the banks from her landlord.

Since then, she and the children have been in the single room at the B&B provided by Wexford County Council.

It is somewhere to live, but very confined. Literally 10 steps across, there are no cooking facilities and the youngsters have to whisper when they play because of fears about upsetting other residents.

In it, there is a double bed, a single bed and a bathroom, but while Elizabeth appreciates having the shelter it provides, it is entirely unsuitable for a family of four.

'I have good references and a deposit, but I have been unable to find a house for us,' she said.

Elizabeth lost her husband three years ago, when she was pregnant with Billy. She struggled after that, although she always managed to pay the rent for the house in Clonard, which she had to move out of on May 28.

'I'm suffering from depression because of the situation we are in.. I leave the place early in the morning and walk the streets. I buy the children their breakfasts and lunches from a deli, but because I can't cook, their diet is mainly chips and things like that,' she told this newspaper.

Elizabeth said Rob's Ranch House in the town had heard of her plight and had offered the family meals to give them some wholesome food to eat.

'We really appreciate that,' she said.

'At the weekends we have nowhere to go,' said Elizabeth who said she would like to do a course and go back into education.

She said she was on the council waiting list, but like so many others had not been offered anywhere suitable to live.

Elizabeth said she was being helped by Ursula Ryan, who runs a community-based voluntary organisation Action4you set up to help homeless people in the south east.

She said she was frustrated, angry and upset at not being able to find a house. She said some landlords wouldn't accept people on benefits who were receiving rent subsidies and many didn't even return calls.

'I'm hoping and praying we will be able to find somewhere. Once the door is closed, the room is so small you feel claustrophobic,' she said, 'my little fella is already asking me how's santy going to get in because there's no chimney.'

'I hope there's someone out there with a heart who can help us. I don't know who to turn to.'

Anyone who may be able to help Elizabeth find a home can contact her through Ursula Warren on 086 0500099.

Wexford People

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