Disabled daughter’s father needs to borrow 600 a month for rent and food

by Bernie English

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A struggling father has revealed to the Limerick Post how he has to borrow up to €600 most months from family and pawnbrokers to keep a roof over his own head and that of his disabled daughter.

Paul Hourigan is raising his daughter, Holly (10) alone in their private town center accommodation and having had to give up his job as a scaffolder to care for her full time, he says there is no another way out.

“I had to borrow money from a pawnbroker and I’m doing everything I can to pay it back. My family took out three loans to help me on their own behalf and I have no hope of repaying that,” Paul told the Limerick Post.

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Despite receiving help from the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) program, Paul still struggles to put food on the table and pay the rent, fearing that if he doesn’t, the small family finds itself homeless.

Holly has been disabled since birth and has several medical appointments each week. The family doesn’t have a car and very often there isn’t a bus that will take them to appointments on time, so Paul has to pay for taxis.

“We cannot miss medical appointments. She never missed one, but it comes at a cost,” Paul said.

Between a €1,200 per month increase in his rent and the skyrocketing cost of living, Paul says borrowing “is the only way to manage. If it hadn’t been for my family, Holly and I would be homeless.

Paul says he knows others in the same sinking boat of poverty. “Some people play to try and get a little extra money and it just doesn’t work. But I can understand how desperate they are to try anything.

Paul shared his struggle with the Limerick Post as business leaders revealed this week that workers are desperately looking to their employers for loans to try to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

According to Damien McCarthy, CEO of HR consulting firm, HR Buddy. “A number of ripple effects are felt in our day-to-day dealings with customers. One is an increase in the number of employees going to their employers for loans. This gives a very clear indication that people are really struggling. An employee requesting a loan from their employer is not something very common, but it is now becoming more common. »

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