AFTER living 99km apart for months, a family of three have found a home in Ballincollig thanks to a generous landlord who reached out to them when he read about their plight in the Evening Echo.
On June 18, Gretta Spooner, her 10-year-old daughter Alexia and her partner, Grattan O’Rourke, appeared in the Evening Echo speaking out about their hopeless search for a home.
Gretta, aged 34, was living in the box room of her mother’s home in Tipperary with her daughter Alexia, while her partner Grattan was splitting his time between sleeping at Collins Barracks, where he works, and his mother’s home in Ballincollig.
The pair had been searching for a family home to rent in Ballincollig for months, as they need to be in close proximity to Grattan’s mother who suffered a stroke six years ago.
Gretta also recently began working in a nursing unit in Ballincollig and was commuting to and from the town from her mother’s home in Tipperary Town — a 200km round trip.
After reading about the family’s plight in the paper, Ballincollig landlord Dermot O’Connell rang the Evening Echo, offering Gretta, Grattan and Alexia, a house he rents in Ballincollig.
Gretta said the relief was unbelievable.
“We are not moving in until the end of the month, but knowing we actually have a place now, it is absolutely amazing,” Gretta said. Dermot also gave them the house at a reduced rate on the condition that they are looking for a long-term lease.
“We were still in budget and we are absolutely over the moon,” Gretta added.
She said Alexia was sold on the place the minute they got there. “There was a swing hanging off a tree out front and that sold it for her, we had to get that house!”
As well as this, two nurses from Gretta’s new job live in the same estate and they also have young children.
“We are really lucky,” Gretta said.
The house has two big double bedrooms, one with an ensuite, a large bathroom and a hot press.
There is also a large enclosed garden and two parking space out front.
The house is in close proximity to Alexia’s school, Grattan’s mother and Gretta’s new job.
“It actually couldn’t be more central. It is literally perfect for what we need, we couldn’t have asked for any better,” Gretta said.
“If it wasn’t for the story in the Echo, I think we would still be looking.”