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Mother and children living in Dublin City Council flat ‘unfit for human habitation’, court hears – The Irish Times


A mother and her two children have been living in a Dublin City Council flat that is unfit for human habitation, a judge has ruled.

Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain heard in the Circuit Civil Court Friday that Sinead Moran had been forced to throw out clothes that were covered in black mould in her bedroom wardrobe as well as having to dump her bed mattress because of her damp and unventilated flat.

Ms Moran told her barrister Peter Maguire, who appeared with Thomas Loomes Solicitors, that the Oliver Bond House complex in Dublin 8 where she lives was also rat infested.

Forensic engineer Lloyd Semple, of David Semple and Associates, told the court in a special report on behalf of Ms Moran that he had found a large hole big enough to facilitate the entry of vermin just above the skirting board in the sitting room wall.

He told the court the black mould and damp was being caused by the lack of ventilation throughout the flat. Ms Moran several times a year had to wash down the black mould and repaint the areas but the mould kept coming back. There were other necessary repairs that should be seen to.

Judge Ni Chulachain said she accepted that Ms Moran’s flat was unfit for human habitation and directed the local authority to carry out a detailed inspection within the next three weeks and prepare a schedule of repairs and refurbishments.

She said the renovation work had to be carried out quickly as the weather was turning as winter approached.

Judge Ni Chulachain said that on several occasions in the past Ms Moran had failed to facilitate agreed inspections by council staff but she accepted this was due to the ill health of her father and that her mind had been elsewhere.

“Council inspectors will have to be allowed onto the premises to carry out their work and I direct that they are,” she said.

The judge told Mr Maguire that she would not assess damages due to Ms Moran at this stage and said that in any event arrears of almost €4,000 which Ms Moran conceded was due to Dublin City Council would have to be allowed under a counter claim by the local authority.

She adjourned the assessment of damages until mid-November when the court should be brought up to date on a renovation schedule.

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