Women settle claims against Dublin City Council over unfit accommodation

Claire McGarry alleged damp and mould in Leo Fitzgerald House had exacerbated medical difficulties

A 26-year-old woman who claimed she had to visit her GP dozens of times as a result of living in unfit local authority accommodation, has settled a €60,000 personal injuries action against Dublin City Council.

Claire McGarry’s doctor, Sean Gilroy, was quoted in the case as reporting that damp and mould in her mother Mary Mullen’s flat at Leo Fitzgerald House, Dublin 2 had exacerbated his patient’s medical difficulties.

Ms McGarry claimed in the Circuit Civil Court that over the last 12 years she had a high visitation rate with Dr Gilroy due to suffering from stress, trauma, pain, discomfort, anxiety and loss of enjoyment of life. She said she had missed many days of school and work owing to illness.

Half of 40 times she visited her GP related to respiratory problems and sore throat for which she needed antibiotic treatments, the court heard.


She claimed to be on an inhaler after being diagnosed with asthma and said she also used a nasal spray and anti-allergy tablets. She alleged that her symptoms continued as long as she remained exposed to the conditions in her mother’s flat in Leo Fitzgerald House which, she claimed, was unfit for human habitation.

Ms McGarry’s mother, Mary Mullen, also brought a claim against the council over conditions in her accommodation, which she alleged was a danger to health due to defective and inadequate structural repair and a lack of insulation and ventilation systems.

She claimed there had been excessive internal condensation and mould growth in her apartment.

Both women brought their claims through Deborah Crowley of Ferry’s Solicitors. Following out-of-court talks, both settled their claims for undisclosed sums.

Ms Mullen had sought an order from Judge Jennifer O’Brien for relocation or a scheme of all necessary repairs and alterations to render her home fit for human habitation.

Barrister Mark J. Byrne, who appeared with Ferrys Solicitors, told Judge O’Brien that following settlement talks the claims of the mother and daughter could be struck out with orders for their legal costs.

Dublin City Council, in a defence and counter claim against Ms Mullen, had sought an order for payment of €326.48 rent arrears and €60,000 damages against her for breach of Contract and Covenant.

The court was not told if this element of the counter claim featured in the settlement between the parties.