Supporting Local News

Galway family’s plea – help us save our home

A teenager with Autism has launched an online fundraising campaign to buy the family’s rented home after it was put up for sale – just weeks after his father was diagnosed with advanced cancer.
The Rutland family face the prospect of being homeless, after the home they have rented for a decade outside Mountbellew was put on the market for €170,000.
So David Rutland, 16, launched the GoFundMe page last month, which has so far raised €672.

“We have never missed a payment, we always paid the rent on time, but now our landlord is getting on in years and wants to sell the house and we are not going to be able to stay here anymore,” he wrote.

“My dad was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and is going to be starting chemo soon and my mum is the main carer of me and my dad so she cannot work because she has to be at home.
“What I would like to do is keep the house we are in by buying it for my parents to show them I am grateful for all they have done for me and my sister and let my father live whatever life he has got left in the home.”
His mum Sharon says the family had not put their name on the Galway County Council’s social housing list as the family could afford the rent of €500.
“I have somebody helping me to put us down on the list, but I’m told there’s nothing for tenants. I went to see a three-bedroom house the other week and it was €1,200 and it’s a really old house,” she told the Connacht Tribune.
“I’m a full-time carer for David and [husband] John. He’s in his seventies and was already on disability as he has COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease] And he’s now on chemo at home. I have my hands full.”
She is worried the family, including their 15-year-old daughter, will be homeless and forced into emergency accommodation when they have to move out within the next year.
The family moved to Galway from Kerry, where Sharon has two adult sons.
“I’ve been to the credit union but I’m too old to get a mortgage. I’m 60 in two years’ time. I’ve been to five real estate agents and I’m looking at Daft every day. But there’s nothing. I was looking at a house for €75,000 but it was four walls, there wasn’t even a bathroom in it.”
David was inspired by the story of four boys from Co Kerry left orphaned after their parents died of cancer within five months of each other. They were able to buy their rented home as a result of a campaign on GoFundMe launched by relatives that raised €380,000.
David goes to Coláiste an Chreagáin in Mountbellew and hopes to study coding and game design in college.
“It was all his idea. He just decided to it. We will have to wait to see what comes up. Hopefully something will. We have until March 1 next year before we have to leave. A lot can happen in that time.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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