Homeless families given one more week to stay in Lynam’s Hotel

Five families face eviction from a Dublin hotel that has gone into receivership

lynam's hotel

Marcas Valente and Annette Courtney take part in a protest against their eviction yesterday | Photo: RollingNews.ie

Five homeless families facing eviction from a Dublin city centre hotel have been permitted to stay there for another week.

The families had been told to leave Lynam’s Hotel by today after it went into receivership.

Dublin City Council is understood to be providing funding to allow the families to remain until August 1st.

A NAMA-appointed receiver is then due to take possession of the Upper O’Connell St property.

Independent TD Thomas Pringle raised the case in the Dáil on Thursday and called for government intervention.

While acknowledging that Dublin City Council was seeking reprieve for residents, Mr Pringle said the local authority could only offer families “more of the same inadequate, insecure accommodation for short periods”.

The Donegal TD said one family staying in the hotel, a 26-year-old woman and her 18-month-old daughter, have been moved between hotels and B&Bs since becoming homeless in March.

“They live in a single room with no way of getting bottles heated or storing milk and the family is obliged to rely on fast food,” he said.

“Annette [the mother] has been on the housing list since 2009. She was in private rental accommodation until her landlord decided to sell and gave her 28 days' notice to quit.  

“She has been told she can go to the Gresham Hotel for 40 days, but that if it gets busy, she will be obliged to leave there as well and be moved on someone else.”

No cooking or laundry facilities

Mr Pringle told the Dáil another family with five children have been living in separate rooms in the hotel.

The mother works part-time and participates in a community employment scheme, while her husband works full-time on a zero-hour contract.

The family have no cooking or laundry facilities, and have had to sell off some of their furniture because of a lack of storage space, he said.

“They are being offered another hotel miles away in Newlands Cross, again with no facilities and no guarantee that they will even get adjoining rooms for the children."  

Mr Pringle urged the government to intervene and instruct the receiver to lease the building to Dublin City Council.

In a statement yesterday, the council said all families had been offered "suitable alternative accommodation".

However, a group working with the families insisted last night that those offers were inadequate. 

“While some have been offered short-term rooms in other hotels, none of these places are suitable or secure,” the Irish Housing Network said.

“They maintain their demand for long-term emergency accommodation that includes laundry and cooking facilities.

“They refuse to remain on the self-accommodate system that requires them to continue the nightmare scenario of moving from hotel to hotel with their children and leaves no time to search for a proper home.”

Former Labour TD Joe Costello, the party's spokesperson for urban regeneration, said the case highlighted the need for legislation to protect tenants in the event of a landlord or hotelier becoming bankrupt.

He also called on Dublin City Council to purchase the hotel for emergency accommodation.

NAMA said in a statement that it was not in a position to intrude on the receiver’s work. The receiver could not be immediately reached for comment.