Decision to trade homes was ‘biggest mistake of my life’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A COUNCIL tenant who swapped homes with another tenant five years ago in order to downsize, said that the decision to trade homes has been “the biggest mistake of my life” as the property has been beset with issues over the years.

Caroline Kinsella (51) moved into a two-bed bungalow at Cushlawn Way as part of an inter-transfer agreement with another council tenant, which was sanctioned by the council, with the other tenant moving directly into Ms Kinsella’s previous address – a three-bed house at nearby Cushlawn Park.

39 Cushlawn Way 01 1

Some of the problems experienced at the house

Since moving in, Ms Kinsella has dealt with numerous issues with the property, including a leaking roof and no heating and, more recently, there were problems with sewage backing up underneath the property.

Ms Kinsella told The Echo: “I’ve lost my family because of this, my daughter moved out of the house shortly after we moved in [because of the issues with the property].

“The boiler burst, the roof fell in on top of me in 2015, the walls have fallen in, the pipes are cracked and bent.

“The issues haven’t stopped, from the roof, to the plumbing, to the walls, to the electrics.

“This has been non-stop – I feel like I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life.”

Last Christmas, Ms Kinsella suffered stroke-like symptoms which she said were brought on by stress, and she said her other health issues, including suffering from asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), are compounding the difficulties she’s facing by living in the bungalow.

She said: “I asked if I could move out because of my health issues, but I seem to be fighting a losing battle.

“This is my breaking point – no more, I can’t do another year.

“I’ve never been through anything like this in my life, I just want a bit of happiness in my life. I gave up my three-bedroom house for this and I’ve just been left here.

“Being honest with you, they should just tear the bungalow down, [the property] will never be right.

“I understand that there are so many people that need a home, but I should have a home that’s warm and safe – but I don’t have that.

39 Cushlawn Way 04 1

Some of the problems experienced at the house

“I thought this would’ve been my forever home, but it’s turned into a forever nightmare.”

While the council has recently undertaken work at Ms Kinsella’s house, where they dug up her back garden in order to carry out work to stop sewage from leaking into her home, the house still has a number of long-standing issues that have not been resolved.

Sinn Féin councillor for Tallaght South, Dermot Richardson, who has made representations to the council on behalf of Ms Kinsella, told The Echo: “The house has had a lot of issues, it seems to be problem after problem with the house.

“It’s frustrating for the tenant that the council are not doing enough, and I have made representations to the council on her behalf.”

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council told The Echo that they do not comment on individual cases.

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