'eaten alive' | 

Mum-of-four who suffers from epilepsy pleads for move from 'rat infested' home

Leanne Mulqueen, who gave birth to her fourth child three weeks ago, said their two-bedroom bungalow is too cramped and is stained in rodent urine and excrement.
Leanne Mulqueen. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

Leanne Mulqueen. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

David Raleigh

A single mother-of-four with epilepsy which causes her to suffer seizures has pleaded with Limerick City and County Council to move her family from their “rat infested” local authority home.

A Council spokesman said they could not comment on individual cases, however Leanne Mulqueen (32) said her complaints to the authority have so far fallen on deaf ears.

Ms Mulqueen, who gave birth to her fourth child three weeks ago, said their two-bedroom bungalow is too cramped and is stained in rodent urine and excrement.

She received the property at Hyde Villas, Prospect, which is located adjacent to a number of boarded up derelict properties, from the Council, six months ago.

Ms Mulqueen said she had been homeless for nearly seven years, up to the middle of last year and desperately needed a home.

Photograph of rat found in Leanne Mulqueen's home

Photograph of rat found in Leanne Mulqueen's home

She explained that while she was initially overjoyed with the house she is now horrified at the conditions there: “Since I came here, there have been mice and rats.

"After Christmas I asked the Council to come and see the situation, there was a bed destroyed in droppings, my daughter’s christening suit was eaten alive, shredded; I was in an awful state and I didn't know what to do.”

She said the Council paid for a private pest control firm to tackle the problem but this has not worked.

“The rats and mice are destroying everything, they’re coming from the attic. I’ve traps everywhere, but there still coming, the place is infested, I’ve complained it numerous times and I'm getting nowhere.”

“They’re living in the attic — I’m actually living with mice and rats.”

“I’ve dozens of traps, in one room there’s at least six or seven mice traps and it’s dangerous for my kids, I need to be out of here for my kids safety.”

“Is the council waiting for one of my kids to die from urine off one of the rats?

"Is it going to come to a stage where one of my kids is actually going to be in a (coffin) box before I get anywhere.”

Ms Mulqueen’s children are aged eight, four, two and three weeks: “I’m worried to death about my kids and if something of theirs drops on the floor I have to throw it in the bin because there’s droppings and urine, and I don’t have eyes in the back of my head and I’m dong the best that I can.”

Leanne Mulqueen

Leanne Mulqueen

“I’ve asked to be moved numerous times, and I’m not hearing anything back, I’m just being fogged off and forgotten about,” she claimed.

“They say they’ll get back to me in six months, in a week, but there’s no one getting back to me, I’m ringing the Council everyday of the week.”

“It’s very very hard, I’m on my toes constantly, I’m only five stone in weight and I’m constantly (stressed) because my children can’t play in their home as I have to watch everything that they are touching, out of fear that one of my kids is going to die.”

“I was happy to get the house because I was homeless for six and a half years, but this is a disaster...What’s next, for one of my children to be found dead?”

A Council spokesman said it “does not comment on cases relating to an individual person as it doesn’t believe that it is right to discuss an individual’s personal situation in such a public forum”.

Leanne Mulqueen

Leanne Mulqueen

“The Council’s Customer Services department is open for tenants or customers to discuss their situations or raise their issues.”

“Customer Services is open in Merchant’s Quay and Dooradoyle 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted on 061 556000, email customerservices@limerick.ie or via My Limerick on Limerick.ie.”

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