Eviction threat after fleeing violent abuse
BRAY MOTHER NOT ENTITLED TO BENEFITS HERE
A BRAY MOTHER is facing eviction from her home and has had her heating and ESB cut off because she does not qualify for benefits in Ireland and can't pay the bills.
Caroline Moorehouse (39) left Bray at the age of 19 and moved to England. She fled the UK nine months ago to escape a serious situation of violent abuse.
She is now on her third appeal for social welfare, having been refused on a number of grounds, including that she has lived in England ‘all her life’.
However, former TD Joe Behan has written to the authorities on her behalf, confirming that she was a pupil of his in St. Fergal's, ‘ thus disproving claims that she was never resident in Ireland’.
The deciding officer also said that her husband and son live abroad. ‘My son is 17 and mar- ried himself and I was never married to my ex-partner,' responded Caroline. ‘ The rest of my family is here in Bray. This is where I feel safe, with my seven brothers and three sisters around me. I have been through so much.' Caroline received a letter last week ordering her to leave her apartment as rent has not been paid since September.
‘He has been so patient,' said Caroline. ‘But the landlord can't afford to wait any longer and is owed too much to allow me to stay. I had hoped to have been approved for rent allowance by now but I can't get it.'
She added that she would prefer to work as a cleaner or in a similar position to support her two daughters, aged 14 and 10, but that she has been unable to secure a job.
‘I struggle every day wondering where I will get food,' said Caroline, who gets some financial help from family members. ‘I get €10 or €20 here and there but they have their own children to feed and can't afford much.'
Caroline said that it took a lot of strength to walk away from her life in England. ‘I want more for my girls,' she said, waiting for the outcome of her latest appeal.
‘I want them to enjoy their lives, and have a roof over their heads and an education. I want them to be happy and for no man to ever tell them what to do.'
The block of flats at The Printworks from where Caroline Moorehouse faces being evicted.