Clare Malone moved in with her former partner, Michael Gallagher, in September to look after him when he fell ill with pneumonia
A grieving mum whose former partner died six weeks ago is facing eviction along with her two kids just before Christmas.
Clare Malone, who is on the lung transplant list, moved in with the father of her children, Michael Gallagher, in September to look after him when he fell ill with pneumonia. She and her two young sons, Cormac, 7, and Fionn, 9, were left heartbroken when Michael died suddenly six weeks ago.
To add to their grief, Clare and the boys are facing Christmas homeless because the council want Michael’s house back.
She revealed: “We were all in shock. It took me eight days to get him buried and then I called the council to tell them what had happened and that I was in the house with the kids.“I realise that I can’t stay here, but I’ve nowhere else to go straight away. I really just need a grace period to get the money together for a deposit on another place.”
Clare, who separated from Michael five years ago but stayed friends, didn’t think about being evicted from his council-owned home in Wexford when they moved in to look after him. The family had been living in a private rented house in the Murrintown area up until the end of the summer when spiralling rents became too expensive for Clare to afford.
She added: “The council have told me that I have two weeks, four weeks tops. After that we will be placed in emergency accommodation if I don’t have anywhere else to go. “If I could just stay here until Christmas it would help the children. They’ve just lost their dad and now we’re facing this.”
The desperate mum is currently on a waiting list for a lung transplant and says that she has taken “one knock back after the next”. While she is eager to work and had been studying Social Studies at the Wexford Campus of Carlow IT before her surgery, Clare has yet to receive “fit for work” clearance from her surgeon. And in the meantime she is forced to get by on Disability Allowance.
Blaming the “impossible rent allowance barrier” for her problem, Clare said: “The barrier is €121.41 per week for a person with two children. That means that I have to find somewhere that isn’t anymore than that a week if I am to get the rent allowance.”
But she claimed there are no houses available locally for less than €125 per week – and that’s for one bedroom.