Accommodation crisis shows bedsit-land wasn’t the worst

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

A long, long time ago in Rathmines’ bedsit-land, a few pints in the pub turned into a crowd coming back to the one room in the basement that two of us students shared – and while we didn’t think we’d made too much of a racket, the landlord took a different view when he arrived early the next morning and told us we had a week to get out.

He gave our guests – or college mates – an even tighter deadline; to be out in ten minutes. That was until the hot water tank, a little unit half-hanging from the wall over the sink, fell off its perch of its own accord and hit one of the guests as he drank water straight from the tap.

Not much damage was done because luckily it landed on his head, but we played it up like he was critically wounded. And that bought us a stay of execution, allowing us to stay until the end of the college year.

Or it would have if we didn’t subsequently have an infestation of mice, but that’s another story.

I also shared a bedsit on Leinster Road, between Rathmines and Rathgar, which from the outside was a major step-up in class; a three-storey detached house with big Roman pillars either side of the massive front door, and a view out the back onto an exclusive members-only tennis club.

Internally, however, this one room – sub-divided by a partition that, on one side, featured a bed that folded up into the press when not in use to make room for a chair, and on the other side was a small kitchen.

The partition didn’t even go all the way to the ceiling, so it just looked like a giant wardrobe that housed a bed and a kitchen. Which is exactly what it was.

The room was so cold that you got into your sleeping bag before sitting on one of the two seats in the room. Even in the dead of winter, it was somehow warmer outside.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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