Man (62) faces eviction by County Council

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A 62-YEAR-OLD man is pleading with South Dublin County Council not to evict him from the one-bedroom bungalow in Castle Park in Tallaght that he previously shared with his late mother, and has voiced his fears about becoming homeless.

Graham Bowen moved into the bungalow in 2015 to care for his elderly mother Margaret ‘Peggy’ Bowen.

Graham Bowen 02 compressor

Graham Bowen is pleading with the council not to evict him

Ms Bowen suffered a fall in her home on St Patrick’s Day 2018, where she broke her wrist, her elbow and her shoulder and was admitted to Tallaght University Hospital, with Mr Bowen saying his mother “went downhill” from that point onwards.

At the point between her admission to hospital and her death in September 2018, Ms Bowen came home several times and also spent time in respite care.

Mr Bowen said that shortly after his mother passed away, at 99 years of age, the council notified him that he would have to leave the one-bed property.

“My mother passed away in September 2018,” explained Mr Bowen, who lives in the bungalow with his husky, Zoe, “and I just kept paying the rent, not thinking to tell them that I was living there, because there was already so much going on with my mother passing away.

“Some people from the council showed up four months after my mother died, and said that I’d been asked to leave.

“They said the bungalows were for OAPs – but I’m 62, I’m only a few years away from retirement.

“I told them I had nowhere else to go. Another four months passed and I received no correspondence from them, until they showed up at my door again.

“Then I got a letter telling me that I was going to be evicted on January 27, 2020, but I’ve got literally no place to go.”

Mr Bowen went to court on January 27 for the eviction, but the period of time in which he has to vacate the property was extended to give him time to secure a legal aid solicitor, and he is due in court again in relation to the eviction next month.

Local community activist Lisa Maher was in court with Mr Bowen, and she told The Echo: “It’s disgraceful. They should let Graham stay in the bungalow.”

Over 150 of Mr Bowen’s neighbours signed a petition against the eviction, and he added that the community has been “very supportive”.

Mr Bowen, who is currently on Jobseekers Allowance, has also struggled with depression and anxiety since he was notified of the planned eviction, and added that the uncertainty of his future is taking a toll on his mental health.

“I don’t know whether I’m going to be here in a month, or if I’m going to be homeless,” explained Mr Bowen.

“I can’t relax, I can’t do anything. I can barely sleep.”

South Dublin County Council were contacted in relation to the eviction, however they said they do not comment on individual cases.

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