Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A YOUNG Athy mother who narrowly escaped with her life following an arson attack on her home says she is living each day in fear.

Lorraine Maher said she was sleeping in a room with her three-month-old son in Castle Park in Athy when two cars were set alight in the back garden. The fire quickly spread and she narrowly escaped with her life, thanks to the efforts of an elderly neighbour.

Lorraine Maher with her sister Shirley and their children outside their former home in Castle Park in Athy which was the subject of an arson attack
Photo: Piotr Kwasnik

“Myself and my son were sleeping in a room upstairs directly above a gas boiler. A neighbour managed to kick the door in and alert us, other than that we may never have woken,” she said.

“The whole back of the house was destroyed. My child nearly died.

“That man saved us. He spent nearly 20 minutes trying to kick in the door, banging and shouting. It was two o’clock in the morning and only for him we may never have got out.

“The fire brigade arrived five minutes later and only for that man the whole gas boiler would have exploded.”

Two months earlier a brick had been thrown through a window by the front door where her baby was sleeping.

“It smashed the glass into smithereens and it was all over him, all over his face, he could have been seriously hurt,” she said.

After the fire Lorraine, who lives with her sister and her nine-year-old son, were relocated to an apartment in Cois Bhearu in Athy. Last week they were targeted again when another brick was thrown through the window. Lorraine believes the same people were involved.

“They just keep coming back and doing it over and over again,” said an upset Lorraine.

“I want to get out of here now. I need somewhere safe to live with my child. I can’t take this anymore, I’m sick of it. They’ll find me dead.”

Lorraine says she has been on the housing waiting list with Kildare Co Council for the past eight years but can’t get a house.

“I’m living with my sister. My poor mother has six children and is sleeping on a couch. She has osteoporosis, it’s terrible, there are six families sharing two houses between us.

“All I want is a safe place to live with my child,” she said.

Gardaí confirmed that the incidents have been reported to them and investigations are continuing.

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By Lynda Doyle
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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