Family of six living in car outside cemetery in Cork

Jennifer O’Regan says cannot get emergency accommodation from city council

Jennifer O’Regan with her children Charlene (15), Scarlet (5), Michael (11), Victoria (13) and Madison (3): they have all been sleeping in a car as she has hit a “brick wall” with local authorities in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Jennifer O’Regan with her children Charlene (15), Scarlet (5), Michael (11), Victoria (13) and Madison (3): they have all been sleeping in a car as she has hit a “brick wall” with local authorities in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

 

A mother whose partner drowned last year has been sleeping in her car with her five children because she has been unable to source emergency accommodation from Cork City Council.

Jennifer O’Regan says she has been sleeping in her car outside Kilcully cemetery in Cork with her children who range from 15 to three because she has hit a “brick wall” with the local authorities.

Ms O’Regan, who is originally from Farranree in Cork, says she previously lived in the UK and moved back to Ireland 15 months ago .

Focus Ireland housed her in accommodation but unfortunately she ended up in an “isolated” town in Clare where she had no family support.

Local authority

She moved back to Cork three months ago and has been attempting to access emergency accommodation from the local authority. Ms O’Regan says she is “not looking for the keys of a house”. She is happy to take accommodation of any kind whether it be a hostel, a B&B or Edel House.

”My name is on the list for housing at City Hall but they [the homeless services] say they can’t give me temporary accommodation because they are waiting on an assessment on me. I have gone through the assessment at City Hall and it is taking weeks.

“I am a good parent. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I will take anything they give me once it’s a roof over our heads. My mother isn’t well and there is no room for all of us. As a family, we have been to hell and back.”

In a statement, Cork City Council said, “We cannot comment on individual cases but many cases are complex and require the intervention of more than one agency to meet the need of the client.”