The Reilly’s from Cashel are now living in a small two berth caravan since Christmas when the rodents outbreak started.
John and Bridget have 11 children and are struggling with living in a smaller space without running water or electricity.
John says the council has advised him that he is on a four – to five year waiting plan, but he has been told they are trying to get emergency funding approved to relocate the family to improved living condition
Speaking to Fran, John says that despite efforts to rid the site of rats, the infestation is uncontrollable.
“This place here is sniving with rats. You have the McDonald’s, you have the recycling, and the corn field at the back. Now, in fairness to the dogs, they do kill a lot of them, but even poisoning them – a week, two weeks, they’re back.
“I came back one night and saw two rats on top of the bed where the kids were asleep. So, I had to just lock up the doors and take the kids out. It’s hard on the bigger young ones, going to the bigger school. They do have to go across to the Brothers and get a shower.
“In this day and age, this shouldn’t be happening, to be honest.”
The Tipperary Rural Traveller Project says the family’s living conditions may have devastating impacts on the children.
This service engages families in relation to a wide range of issues, including housing, poverty, and social exclusion.
The project has been working with the Reilly family for a number of years and says it’s a very complex situation, and it all comes down to whether the family is eligible for better accommodations.
Jack Griffin from Tipperary Rural Traveller Project says research shows the children will be affected negatively from this experience.
“There’s a lot of research around trauma and ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). If you’re living in poverty, socially excluded, and in very, very poor conditions, that has impacts on your mental health and your physical health throughout your lifespan.
“The conditions that those children are living in are going to impact them right across their lifespans. Getting something done about it is complex, but, certainly, one of the reasons is that it’s not an official site. There was disagreement about their eligibility for proper accommodations.”