A young Kildare man who built and placed a pontoon house boot on the Grand Canal at Lowtown has had his home removed by Waterways Ireland who described his home as a “set of barrels with a garden shed on top”.
Anthony Hall told his story to Joe Duffy on today’s Liveline programme. He described how he built the one-bedroom houseboat complete with wind turbine and solar panels and solid fuel stove . 10 ft wide by 35 ft long.
It cost him about €9000 to build. He said it was a “desperate act to get out of the housing crisis” as he could not afford to rent and was currently sleeping on a friend’s couch. He said he had sent his mooring fee to Waterways Ireland who had returned it to him along with a warning letter that it could be removed
Last Wednesday he came home from work to find his home had been removed by Waterways Ireland to a depot at Shannon Harbour. He has been told by Waterways Ireland that it will cost him €2,500 to get the structure back, a fee he can’t afford.
There was quite a lot of support for his venture among Liveline listeners.
He said he felt badly treated by Waterways Ireland.
In a statement to Liveline Waterways Ireland said it had “removed an illegal construction from the navigation in compliance with the byelaws.
“A set of barrels with a garden shed on top does not meet the minimum safety, seaworthy or navigation criteria.”