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Young Clare mum: ‘I never thought we’d have a home like this’

Roisín Fisher on her joy at getting a home for herself and daughter Laia

I was delighted to move into our new home in Inbhear na Sionna. Before moving into this apartment, my daughter Laia and I were in homeless accommodation.

For nearly two years we lived in BnB in Ennis. As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to live in just one room with a small child.

After that, we moved into the Family Hub in Ennis, which was a big improvement in many ways as I was able to cook for myself and my daughter. There were appliances, a fridge an oven and washing machine.

I was able to do a lot more for us as a family, even just being able to wash clothes and prepare a proper meal was an improvement. There were other people in a similar situation to me there too, so even though it was lonely in many ways because I’m not from Ennis, there was a better sense of community.

There were four other women and their kids there, so I made friends and I wasn’t stuck in a room with Laia on our own, but in other ways though you do feel desperately lonely.

It can be difficult to get a bit of time to yourself, so when I got the call from Co-operative Housing Ireland about the apartment here in Shannon, I was over the moon.

My daughter did a lot of talking during the interview process for the house, so I had a good feeling about it. She’s a very outgoing child, which is lovely.

When I got the news that we got the place I couldn’t believe it, I rang absolutely everybody I knew. My parents were the first people to see our new home. They’ve been very supportive of me moving in, helping to transport appliances and so forth.

Having the place really is life changing, I can have people over now and I don’t feel as isolated as my family are here and I have friends and relatives here in the estate itself. The housing officer Niamh here has been helpful to us since day one too, which is fantastic.

Laia is starting school soon down the street, and a friend of hers from the estate will be joining her. My own little sister is in first class in the same school so it’s wonderful to know when
I drop Laia off at the school gate that she will be among good friends.

She’s turning five in November, and she finally has her own bedroom since we’ve moved in. We’ve been talking about doing up her room, she really wants a rainbow on the wall. I like the geometric types of designs you see on walls these days. I think we’ll do the other walls in her room pink.

I want it to be youthful, but not too childish, as it’s the room she’ll grow up in. I’m thinking slowly about what I’ll do with my own room, but there’s no rush, and that’s a great feeling.

We have so much on the doorstep here in Shannon. There’s plenty of shops with Lidl, Iceland, Dunnes. There’s a cinema too, though we haven’t been in ages with the pandemic. I’m looking forward to bringing Laia soon.

Thinking back over the last number of years, I never thought I’d have a home like this. It really is life changing for us.

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