Belfast Telegraph

Law demanded over flat freeze death

Family and friends of a Dublin mother who froze to death in her flat want a law in her name to protect other tenants.

Rachel Peavoy died from hypothermia in her flat in Ballymun in January 2010 on one of the coldest days of last year.

Members of Justice for Rachel Peavoy protested at the Dublin City Council offices in the north Dublin suburb demanding to know what action officials have taken on tenancy procedures since her inquest over two months ago.

Catherine Greene, spokeswoman, said the group also wanted to highlight the plight of other residents waiting to be rehoused from blocks of flats in the area. She said: "What happened to Rachel was in breach of her human rights. We want a law called Rachel's Law to protect people like her in Dublin city and around the country."

Ms Peavoy, a 30-year-old mother of two boys, died from hypothermia at her home on the Shangan Road on January 11 2010.

Dublin City Council insisted the heating was working in her home, but an engineer said the temperature could have been affected by the number of surrounding flats left empty from a regeneration scheme.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by misadventure and said he was asking Dublin City Council to review its procedures for detenanting and regeneration.

Ms Greene continued: "We want to know what has been done since the verdict of her inquest. There is still people in Ballymun living in the same situation that Rachel was left to live in, but they haven't done anything about it. We need justice for Rachel and all other vulnerable people who are living in unfit accommodation at present, Rachel's family and friends demand that this never happens again."

Members of Ms Peavoy's family initially demanded a public inquiry, but are now considering a closed hearing to speed up the process. They are also submitting a report to the Irish Human Rights Commission.

Dublin City Council, which is responsible for the management and maintenance of the Ballymun flats, said it endeavours to maintain a good quality of life for tenants during the ongoing demolition programme that is part of the regeneration of Ballymun.

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