Rats and black mould: Mother and children living in Dublin City Council flat ‘unfit for human habitation’, court hears

Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain directed the local authority to carry out a detailed inspection within the next three weeks

A woman 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 on 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 mattress because of conditions in the 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 Ms Moran lives, was also rat infested.

Forensic engineer Lloyd Semple, of David Semple and Associates, told the court in a special report compiled 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 that the black mould and damp was being caused by a lack of ventilation throughout the flat. Ms Moran had to wash down the black mould and repaint the areas several times a year, but the mould kept coming back. There were other necessary repairs that should also be seen to, the court heard.

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 with winter approaching.

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 her mind having 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, in any event, there were arrears of almost €4,000 which Ms Moran has conceded are due to Dublin City Council. These would have to be allowed under a counter claim by the local authority, the judge said.

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