A Second Time


Parkgate Hall

Laoise Neylon, in the Dublin Inquirer, reports:

On Friday afternoon, Sonia Traynor was boxing up her family’s belongings.

She had already thrown out eight bags of clothes, not because her four children didn’t need them or wear them, but because she can’t take them all with her.

She gave away lamps and a chest of drawers to friends. She was trying to line up friends and relatives who might store the children’s toys, including new bikes they got for Christmas.

They won’t be able to cycle them now anyway. Hopefully, they won’t grow out of them.

But she hadn’t found anyone to look after the family’s dog, a big grey husky, when she moves out of her house in Ballyfermot on Monday.

“I better remember to cancel the Sky,” she says to her partner Luke Coulahan, as he makes a pot of tea. The kitchen around them is full of boxes.

They won’t need broadband anymore, either. From Monday, she thinks that they will be living in a hotel.

In December, the family got a 56-day notice of eviction, including a solicitor’s letter to confirm that her landlord is selling up.

Traynor was homeless for about two years the last time. Now it is happening again.

She feels she was duped into accepting the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, which offers no more stability than any other private rented tenancy.

“They promised me that this couldn’t happen,” she says.

For the second time, a mother and her children face eviction and homelessness (Laoise Neylon, The Dublin Inquirer)

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79 thoughts on “A Second Time

  1. Rob_G

    It’s sad to hear what that lady and her family are going through, but an element of personal responsibility needs to come into play.

    She already has three kids, and then:

    “The family were homeless for around 20 months all together, says Traynor. She found out she was pregnant with her youngest while living in a hotel.”

    – well, I couldn’t possibly think of a better time to have yet another baby…

      1. Rob_G

        No. But I would have thought that most people would agree that you should only bring children into the world if you are able to take care of them.

        And, if you were homeless and already had 3 kids, having a fourth child would not be a good idea.

        1. godIV

          Well, then, it’s fortunate we have abortion on tap… oh, hang on a minute…

          You,sir, are a fool.

        2. anne

          A functional society provides affordable housing for it’s citizens..including children.

          The problem is not people having children, it’s the society with a dysfunctional property market. That’s what needs fixing.

          1. postmanpat

            Life not perfect anne. But responsible people usually wait and use contraception until they are somewhat financially stable to bring another person into the world. Sometimes even waiting until its too late and they end up having fertility problems. Its already irritating watching the cast of shameless here breading like rabbits. What’s infuriating is the fact that they wont work/ don’t work, want free everything and then moan when they don’t get it and use there own kids as emotional blackmail to get sympathy. “In December, the family got a 56-day notice of eviction, including a solicitor’s letter to confirm that her landlord is selling up.” . so buy bikes for the kids for Christmas even though you don’t know where you will be living. , you might need that money but , no .buy bikes. Get the top of the line bikes down in Tony Kealys with that free scratch money just like the Silver Cross prams they sell to all the doleys. Get a pet dog too. Everything will be grand.

        3. Gorev Mahagut

          This explains it beautifully: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-tirado/why-poor-peoples-bad-decisions-make-perfect-sense_b_4326233.html
          “Poverty is bleak and cuts off your long-term brain. It’s why you see people with four different babydaddies instead of one. You grab a bit of connection wherever you can to survive. You have no idea how strong the pull to feel worthwhile is. It’s more basic than food. You go to these people who make you feel lovely for an hour that one time, and that’s all you get. You’re probably not compatible with them for anything long-term, but right this minute they can make you feel powerful and valuable. It does not matter what will happen in a month. Whatever happens in a month is probably going to be just about as indifferent as whatever happened today or last week. None of it matters. We don’t plan long-term because if we do we’ll just get our hearts broken. It’s best not to hope. You just take what you can get as you spot it.”

        4. The Ghost of Starina

          How does one obtain an abortion if only those with a spare, say, month’s rent can afford to leave the country to get one?

          1. cian

            ’cause it’s cheaper to have an abortion than raise a child?
            Hell, having an abortion is a lot cheaper than a First Holy Communion.

      2. postmanpat

        The wealthy don’t destroy themselves financially by having more kids then they can afford. 2 is plenty enough, 3 is pushing your luck , 4 is taking the absolute piss. especially if you don’t own your home. Use the pill, get an implant, get the snip, use a condom, pull out , get your tubes tied, take a hot bath. There’s 8 options. Failing that , get an abortion. Save up your scratch and travel to England than go back to the 8 other methods if you love a ride. god knows we all love a ride but Jesus Christ take some reasonability. How many sun holidays did this family go on since getting placed in the last house where they didn’t have to work or pay rent?

        1. Frilly Keane

          who da fupp are you?
          its not your job to be telling anyone how many children they should have or shouldn’t, or their methods of contraception
          its none of your business

          t’would do you some good to show some empathy with a girl with 4 kids, while also having to manage her own depression and anxiety
          instead’a offering family planning advice

          travelling from the Airport to Ballyfermot on the school run
          Christ t’night
          none of us would manage that and still stay in one piece
          and here’s you cribbing about family planning and wondering if they took holidays

          what a rotten thing to post

          1. Fiona

            Frilly, you forgot to wish that his light sabre would drop off, with it being a full moon an’ all tonight, it might just happen ;-)

          2. postmanpat

            Yeah right . Do you really believe she traveled all the way back to the airport “every day”? Cop on, you gullible fool.

        2. ahjayzis

          The wealthy destroy the rest of us by funnelling ever more of society’s wealth into their own pockets and destroying economies, lives, livelihoods by their little gambling games.

          But yeah, these people are the real threat.

        3. Nigel

          I guess this is why FG think the homeless crisis isn’t a political crisis – enough people will always blame the homeless for being homeless.

    1. Barry the Hatchet

      Probably wasn’t a great time to have another child. But what would you suggest now, Rob? Should these children be punished for that?

      1. postmanpat

        They where already punished born to parents like Sonyeee and Luuuackkk.. I’m sure the forth child was absolutely gaaarguuss at de cris-ninn!

        1. Frilly Keane

          d’ya know wha
          I hope the next time you get your boo boo

          you get a dose

          and don’t say you don’t deserve every bit of it after the way you just took the mick out of vulnerable people

          and you did it
          because they’re not you

          1. Frilly Keane

            It’s not anger
            To take issue with someone who decided to mock someone down on their luck
            Someone with 4 kids who are now homeless

            Clearly this girl never had the start most of us take for granted
            And is now caught in a helpless cycle of poverty and hand to mouth week to week existence

            Yet most of those mocking
            Wouldn’t last a fortnight in her shoes
            Imagine what it must be like being a young homeless mother knowing that your children may well end up in the same trap

    2. Martco

      I’m not sure what the relevance of having 2/3/4 children is to this scenario? am I missing something?

    3. ahjayzis

      That third child tipped the country into a housing crisis that effects everyone on every level of the market, yep.

    4. Nigel

      It’s a messy old world full of messy lives. We shouldn’t have to force ourselves to live at some optimal ideal of maximum efficiency in order to avoid this kind of slide into catastrophe. Maybe your own life never met a bump it wasn’t prepared for. If not, you don’t know what you’re talking about. If it did, try to show a little more understanding.

    5. Joe cool

      You sir are a despicable individual. with any luck some day youll find yourself in this situation

  2. Tim

    The Dublin Inquirer’s a strange thing. It’s too tepid. It needs to be more investigative oriented.

    1. Fact Checker

      It is a fine paper and the only place you’ll read about the goings-on at Dublin City Council.

      There is a gap in the market – a local newspaper for Dublin – and they have filled it very well.

  3. Rob_G

    Although this article doesn’t intend to be, it is such a damning indictment of entitlement culture in Ireland today.

    ‘But she hadn’t found anyone to look after the family’s dog, a big grey husky…’
    – finding rental accommodation that allows pets is tricky enough, never mind one that also takes HAP. Also, things like vet bills are expensive (never mind the cost of husky pup if you were to buy one from a breeder) – maybe that money could have gone towards providing for her four kids?

    “I better remember to cancel the Sky,” she says to her partner Luke
    – ditto the money spent on Sky. What’s the story with Luke – why is he not providing a roof over the head of his partner and their children?

    ‘Her parents, who live in social housing, were willing to take her and the kids in… ‘
    – something is going wrong with Ireland’s model of social welfare if there is generation after generation of families who are unable to provide themselves with basic needs, such as a roof over their heads.

    ‘Traynor says she was adamant that she wanted a permanent home for her children, but that the woman kept asking her to accept the HAP scheme.’
    – people wanting accommodation for themselves and their children, but turning their nose up at anything that doesn’t match exactly their specifications. I am not surprised the CoCo’s no longer want to deal with council house tenancies – why bother getting a job when you can just continue having kids and not contributing to society, safe in the knowledge that you will always have heavily-subsidised accommodation to rely on?

    1. ahjayzis

      They’d really be doing us all a favour if they just died or emigrated right?

      I’m really glad their story gave you so much fun condemning these people and their children. I sometimes wish I had that level of petty vindictiveness, it’d be so easy to get your jollies from stories like this of a family suffering, there’s just so many to choose from!

    2. qwerty123

      The point is, they are incentivised to have kids, they will move further up the list. If I was in that situation I’d probably do the same thing. Blame the system, not the individual. If they weren’t getting paid and were given no preference, she would not have 4 kids

      1. postmanpat

        Or..you…could blame some elements of the system AND elements of the individual? But that would be nuanced and non-binary. error..error….m.must…p.pp.pppiickk .a .s…s…side . like/unlike. follow /unfollow hero/villain. truth /lies . row row row your boat ,,gently down the stream..merrily merrrilllly merrrilllly merrrillllllllllllllly …liiiiiiffffeeee iiiissssssssss jusssst…a…….. .

        1. Nigel

          You don’t have to worry about blaming the individual at all, since the individual is bearing the brunt of the consequences anyway.

          1. postmanpat

            But will she learn from the consequences she brought about herself? or will she happily forget them when she accepts the enabling big bad system handout when it works in her favor the next time for another short time.

          2. Nigel

            It’s possible the lessons to learned from this experience look different from the middle of it than from your lofty height where the most important thing is the apportioning of blame on the individual rather than day-to-day survival.

        2. ahjayzis

          They’re about to be made homeless mate. Along with their kids.

          If that isn’t ‘punishment’ enough for you to get your rocks off, I’d hate to know what you’d do with them.

    3. Woke Bae

      The distinction between needs and wants has been completely removed by the political parties that encourage a culture of dependency upon these people.

      They need better guidance that what they are getting to have any sort of a fulfilling life.

    4. johnny

      “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” Ghandi

      Its a mom with four kids facing an extremely stressful situation,possibly reading this,try have some compassion and empathy.

      1. postmanpat

        “If I were a Jew and were born in Germany… I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon…. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy…. The calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant.” Ghandi (?)

    5. Barry the Hatchet

      Rob, we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes people make bad choices. Sometimes people get ill. Sometimes they have a poor education. Sometimes that’s their own fault and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes people don’t plan for the long term. Sometimes people have no support, or have others who take advantage of them. Sometimes people are terrible with money. Sometimes people work but can’t earn enough to pay their rent without some help. Sometimes people make choices from a limited set of options, none of which are ideal. These are unfortunate facts of life.

      It is of no help to anyone, not to this woman and her children, not to you, not to society as a whole, to waste time complaining that people are imperfect. What matters is what we do about it, as individuals and as a society. How do we make things better? How do we treat imperfect people and their imperfect choices? Do we punish them? Do we turn our backs on them because they aren’t sufficiently deserving? Do we demand that they beg for our forgiveness? And do we punish their children? Do we teach those children that it doesn’t matter if you’re an innocent because the sins of your parents will be visited on you? Do we teach them that they deserve to be homeless because their parents bought a Sky subscription?

      What do you want to happen now, Rob?

      1. Woke Bae

        The freedom to say she is completely irresponsible and needs to be told Kevin manage here priorities and make better choices without being attacked?

        I think you can believe that while also believing she shouldn’t be on the street.

        1. ahjayzis

          The irony.

          You’re literally whining about being ‘attacked’ after the hatchet job on this family on this thread at their very lowest moment.

          You’re a good person and this all speaks really well of how your parents raised you.

      2. Rob_G

        There comes a point when society looking after its most vulnerable changes into society providing perverse incentives for irresponsible and selfish behaviour. If someone is unable to support themselves and the children they currently have, should the rest of society continue to support their standard of living at its current level if they continue to have kids without making any efforts to improve their situation? If someone decided to have 6, 7, 8 kids without any means of supporting them, should people who work hard and whose taxes pay for these things continue to reward and validate this behaviour by giving them a bigger council house, and paying children’s allowance at the same level for each subsequent child? Where does it end?

        (@ Martco, I hope this answers your question above also)

        1. ahjayzis

          Would you condemn the kids to increased poverty or remove them from their parents altogether? Would you enforce sterilisation of the long term unemployed in exchange for dole? Mandatory abortions?

          You’re proposing regulating poor people’s fertility, it’s your job to propose your solutions.

          1. Rob_G

            I wouldn’t do any of those things. I would probably change the child benefit system so that, at a fixed date in the future, full child benefit would only be paid out for the first two kids, with reduced payments for each subsequent child.

            There are loads of working families that would love to have as many kids as they want, while living in a house within a mile or two of their parents, with a Sky package and a husky, but they just can’t afford it. The fact that there are people who are enjoying all these benefits without contributing anything to society isn’t really fair.

          2. ahjayzis

            The UK brought that in – they now have a form, a physical 8 page form, where rape victims fill out the details of their assault to get an exemption, should they be made pregnant by the attack.

            I mean if you think it’s worth it to save a few quid.

            We could charge corporation tax on the banks we bailed out either.

        2. Martco

          well no it doesn’t but maybe my fault for not being explicit…what I’m wondering is this:

          OK as I understand it the ACTUAL story featured is about a family being evicted because their landlord decided to sell…& that led to the lady being interviewed being let down/lied to/shafted by the state who (allegedly) promised them that the mechanics of this HAP scheme would would ensure the safety net that if the landlord decided to sell they’d be ok and the state would house them…and that didn’t happen i.e. shafted

          NOW what I’m wondering/asking you is what does the number of children she has got to do with that story?????

          Is it that by having more children then she’s supposed to lead to the landlord selling and the state shafting them? Did she violate some agreement? Did she do something to cause the HAP system to not to be in fact what she was informed it was?

          help me out here because otherwise I cannot for the life of me see what this discussion around the lady’s /s breeding habits have to do with the story

          because somehow this commentary appears to have become about that and not about the original story which was about her being allegedly duped by the state

          hope I’m being clear with the question now

      1. dav

        warden doesn’t care, he believes that those who aren’t of the landed class, must live in squalor with no joy.

  4. some old queen

    I think there is some truth in what both sides are saying here.

    On one hand is a woman who could take a bit more responsibility for the situation she is in, especially when it comes to her reproduction. She didn’t make those children all by herself of course so where is the father(s)? Nobody owes anyone a living.

    But, on the other is the fact that the property market is being manipulated by big business and gouging landlords who would take the eye out of your head and then come back for the eyelash. It is greed on a scale never seen before.

    IMO the fault lies both with the individual AND the state for lack of intervention.

    1. ahjayzis

      How should she take responsibility? Should she live in a ditch instead of a poxy hotel? Serious question – what do you want her to do to make up for her silliness? How would you like her punished or to make amends?

      And she lives with her partner – so maybe refer to them as a couple, or rather a family, rather than a single irresponsible walking talking womb.

      1. curmudgeon

        I think the gist of the backlash is that those of us that work for a living dont like it when our taxes go to people who don’t see why they should do the same.

        1. ahjayzis

          How do you know neither of them work? Low and even medium paid people cannot afford to house themselves without state help in our capital city. You can work full time and still be on HAP. You pay what you can afford of the rent.

          How about your tax money going to a private landlord making a mint charging our state extortionate market rents? That’s the actual waste. If we had any actual social housing they’d be MAKING the state money after a few years.

          If someone’s on their own, how is she to work in a country where you’re paying the equivalent of a second mortgage to access childcare?

    2. some old queen

      Firstly the report doesn’t say her partner is living with her, just that he is her partner. It doesn’t say he is the father of her children either. Given the way it has been presented, there is no way a single mother of four children is not claiming some sort of state benefits.

      Like it or not there are people who are gaming the system, especially women getting pregnant. I fully understand why that rubs people who are putting off having a family the wrong way. But, I also accept that HAP has no more security than any other privately rented accommodation.

  5. anne

    Working people are the new homeless.

    Presumptuous of some cretins on here to say they are not working.

    And to that other cretin above, taking the p*ss out of peoples’ accents does not make you anyway classy.

  6. Steph Pinker

    I never realised there were so many mean-spirited, insensitive and inconsiderate, distracted and lazy, unimaginative, judgemental [frequent] commenters on this site – not to mention those who have their own little obsessions with others’ fecundity.

    Every day’s a school day.

    1. Woke Bae

      We reserve the right to comment and complain about where are money is going. We are the tax payers.

Comments are closed.

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