Limerick family home is rat infested without a direct water supply and has no toilet.

Mr and Mrs McLoughlin and their four children are living in squalid conditions in Doon, county Limerick. The family of six must sleep in one small room together. 

Mrs McLoughlin describes the family's living conditions and the emotional trauma suffered by her daughter as a result of the poor standards of accommodation that they have been living in for the last fifteen years.

She won't make friends. She won't mix. She won't go out for us and it's all due to this, the living conditions. She's afraid to bring home her friends. She's ashamed to bring them near the house.

The McLoughlin's have been on a housing list with Limerick County Council but are still waiting for the houses to be sanctioned for Doon and have little prospects of getting a new home. 

By the looks of things we'll be here for the next twenty years.

Sister Margaret Mary, Principal of the convent primary school in Doon is so concerned about the family's housing conditions that she wrote a letter to the Limerick County Manager. 

I am sure you will agree with me that they should be on the priority list... They have been living in extremely sub-standard conditions since 1953.

Mr McLoughlin describes how the family had been promised a house by politicians during the election campaign in exchange for a number one vote. However, it is now twenty two years since any council houses have been built in the village of Doon and the politicians can only provide the family excuse after excuse. 

While the opportunity is there for the McLoughlin's to apply for a council house elsewhere, they are determined to stay in the parish of Doon, where Mr McLoughlin works and the children attend school. As there is no possibility of the family raising enough money to buy a home of their own, Mrs McLoughlin fears that they will not get a house until the children are reared. Mrs McLoughlin says shoe would be happy with a caravan at this stage.

The family are living without a direct water supply, no toilet and the house is infested with rats. 

We have the rats eating us. They are eating down through the ceiling.

Frank Hall reports for 'Hall's Pictorial Weekly' on 1 December 1971.