Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • Southside

Crash family’s homelessness plight

Monday, 4th February, 2019 8:00am
Crash family’s homelessness plight

The Valentines are effectively homeless since the crash.

Crash family’s homelessness plight

The Valentines are effectively homeless since the crash.

View More Images

Gabija Gataveckaite

A TALLAGHT family that has been left effectively homeless after a car crashed into their home face a two to three month wait to move back in, it has emerged.

Married couple Tony and Siobhan Valentine and their three children were forced out of the St Aongus Road property after it was “destroyed” when a car ended up in the front of the council house.

The family say they have been left homeless while they wait for the council to undertake repairs on the house, which, it is estimated, could take two to three months.

Siobhan Valentine described how the family have been left not only without their home, but also with no belongings, apart from the “clothes on our backs”.

“We’re not allowed back into the house at all as it is a health and safety issue,” she said. “The living room is gone; there’s a pile of rubble in it at the minute and everything is destroyed in it.

“There’s quite substantial damage to the front of the house,” she added.

Her husband Tony was in the sitting room of the house when the car crashed into it on January 10.

“He heard a bang, the equivalent of a bomb going off or a gas explosion,” Siobhan explained.

“He was sitting at the end of the couch and it all came down on top of him.”

Tony was left with minor injuries, but it does not mean he was unaffected.

“His back and his knee were hurting him but that’s nothing,” Siobhan added. “What he’s going through, in his GP’s words, is similar to post-traumatic stress.”

Luckily, the couple’s children were at school when the accident happened.

However, Siobhan first heard of the incident while at work. Initially, as she was having a busy day, she had lost track of time and suffered a shock as she thought the children were also in the house.

“I got a call from Tony telling me to come home as a car had come through the house and he just kept saying ‘Siobhan, you need to come home, you need to come home’.

“I got into an awful state in work because I thought something worse had happened and he wasn’t saying it over the phone,” she added. 

A colleague came to console her at work and reassure her that the children were still at school, before taking her to the scene.

As the house proved to be uninhabitable, the family declared themselves homeless to the council the following day. They claim they were offered an unfurnished house for a temporary stay, which they didn’t accept. 

The family is now waiting for repairs to begin on their home. However, it has been over three weeks since the crash and they say no works have yet begun on the house. 

Siobhan explained that the situation is in “the council’s hands” now.

After declining the initial house offer, Siobhan added that “we were very upset and shocked, but we thanked them and left and we haven’t heard anything about temporary housing or anything and I don’t think we will.”

The family is currently staying with relatives, but they are anxious for repairs to start on their house so they can return as soon as possible.

“It’s very unsettling for the kids,” Siobhan added. “In their little worlds all they know is their bed and their little bits and pieces around them and that’s been ripped away from them. “Everything that we know that is normal is gone.”

According to Siobhan, neighbours have been very supportive and a contractor that lives nearby even offered to repair the damage free of charge. 

“He said he’d do it all, and he said he could do it in two and a half, to three weeks, free of charge,” Siobhan said.

However, the family claim that when this offer was put to South Dublin County Council, it was declined. 

When contacted by this newspaper South Dublin County Council said they did not have any comment to make.

The aftermath of the crash.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here