Homeless campaigner Erica 'refused' two house offers

independent.ie/irish-news/ho … 81951.html

“I want a free house and I’m better than a wage slave renter”

Over the past few years, occasionally a story like this has popped up; whether it is a homeless campaigner who does not want to live in Clontarf, yet another person up in the courts for not paying anything off a mortgage in over 6 years, or some loon saying they did not understand the legalities of borrowing €3m and it was the banks fault for lending etc etc.

And every time it happens I think surely there will be a turning point in public opinion and the media’s output, saying hang on, why are we expending sympathy on a hell of a lot of chancers?

Sadly it never happens. Expect this story to die down, whilst the neurotic narrative rages on.

She might want to change her twitter bio: “Dublin mother of one forced to raise my daughter in a cramped hotel room because of FG/Lab/FF austerity”

Encouragingly, the comments on the Indo site are 100% negative against the woman and everyone is calling her out as a complete chancer.

So, she blights her daugher’s life in its formative years in order to play chicken with a local authority in order to get a better offer of larger free accommodation or to continue to stay in a hotel to maintain her alleged status of homelessness.

The twitterati raise the sluices on a flood of twitterhea, rush to her support and point their guns at the messenger while ignoring the message.

She is a single mother so presumably there is a single father who should be making some of contribution. But this can never be said.

Her child is 10 and going to school so presumably Erica Fleming could work. But she wants to be paid to go to university. She wants everyone eles to fund her chosen lifestyle. She takes no responsibility for her choices.

We live in an irony-free country.

Mick Wallace can steal €1.5 million in VAT as well as pension and PRSI contributions made by his employees. He can transfer his €500,000 Italian villa and vineyard to his brother to put his assets beyond his creditors. He can maintain a holiday apartment in Turin. Yet he can lecture us all on probity in tax affairs.

Richard Boyd Barrett can defend Brendan and Asta Kelly from being evicted from their house in St Matthias Wood in Killiney for non-payment of their mortgage while they have 21 buy-to-lets in Ireland and 13 in the UK.

Jerry Beades and new New Land League can call Brian O’Donnell’s Gorse Hill mansion an ordinary house and defend him despite his massive non-payment of debts, false bankruptcy application and serial lying in multiple court actions.

Namewinelake can defend Erica Fleming and criticise the leaking of her property offers while making a living from leaks.

Erica Fleming reminds me of the so called wellness blogger Australian Belle Gibson who pretended to have terminal brain cancer. She deceived all around her because she was addicted to the attention.

In fairness Ms. Fleming is not necessarily holding out for larger or more salubrious accommodation, although she does seem to be choosy about the area. No, her problem is that under the HAP scheme a landlord might put up the rent in future and:

In other words, having the same legal rights as a private renter is simply not good enough for Ms. Fleming. She should not be subjected to the same risks taken on by everyone else who pays their own way. Anything less than total certainty forever simply won’t do, nevermind that she is willing to pay exactly zero for this extraordinary privilege.

When you mentioned she turned down a place in Clontarf I thought you were being fececious.
But she did !
Holy shit.
What the hell am I working for ?

Have to say, I’m gutted.
Previously, I admired Erica Fleming for the dignified manner in how she carried herself through tough times, and how articulately she spoke on behalf of folk down on their luck.
I now feel my admiration was misplaced. To hear her turn down a free gaff, stipulating that the next place must be for life…fk me.
Join the queue pet. I’ve been renting for 20+ years and have had to come up with ‘plan B’ a few times XX

It was offered to Erica first, but she didnt like the panoramic views.

I’ve said it numerous times, despite the media slant most people I know are in no way sympathetic to “have my cake and eat it” lifetime welfare types (note not saying everyone on welfare is like that) or those not paying mortgages. Talk to my parents generation and almost all will have experienced a redundancy in the 80s and paid their way at great sacrifice. Talking to people in my home town & in laws home town the is no “anti repo - insert famine analogy” sentiment at all. The media (in my experience) are presenting these views but I haven’t experienced them being shared by many if any people

However the government is pandering to this so called demographic. Not saying the softly softly manner is influencing people to vote AGAINST the govt but I don’t see it getting them to support it either.

So what’s the solution to this inflated sense of entitlement?

There are certainly a multitude of solutions but like solving most problems that have existed and are culturally now the norms, it certainly won’t be easy to implement any of them politically.

I do believe that the first step is to act cautiously with regard to handing out payments to anyone from the public tax system. Because if you get something easily then it will again be expected to be the same, the next time.

It is also necessary to stop and to fix the bad decisions of the past. i.e. to re-engineer the bank bailout so that the banks carry the blame and that it is packaged separately from the public taxation and government pool.
This will help the public to see that there is some idea of fair treatment.

Also, people need to be taught the essence of responsibility. This is not easily acquired in some places. It needs to be taught.

Joined up thinking is easy, joined up implementation next to impossible. With a public sector response to the project varying from lazy to deliberately resistant, a PPARS fiasco would be a virtual certainty with public outcry at expenditure on consultants from the very people whose behaviour you’re trying to check.

The moaning classes maintain a firm grasp of the establishment’s balls, preventing the very reform that could improve the value for money they think comes from them (rather than from the pockets of those who provide for themselves and are net contributors to the broken system)

And it’s not even so much the amounts of free cash they receive from a multiple of allowances and benefits but also the number of charges they’re exempt from. Someone holding a medical card for example, is entitled to a raft of benefits - some which have nothing to do with medical need.


You are entitled to the following services if you have a Medical Card:

*Doctor Visits - a range of family doctor or GP services from a chosen doctor contracted to the HSE in your local area;

Prescription Medicines: The supply of prescribed approved medicines, aids and appliances like wheelchairs, crutches etc.

Certain Dental, Ophthalmic (Eye), and Aural (Ear) health services;

Hospital Care - all in-patient services in public wards in public hospitals, including public consultant services;

Hospital Visits - All out-patient services in public hospitals, including public consultant services;

Medical & Midwifery Care for Mothers, including health care related to pregnancy and the care of the child for six weeks after birth;

Some personal and social care services, for example, public health nursing, social work services and other community care services based on client need.

You may also be entitled to the following additional benefits if you have a Medical Card:

No need to pay the health portion of your social insurance (PRSI);

Free transport to school for children who live 3 miles or more from the nearest school;

Exemption from state examination fees in public second-level schools;

Financial help with buying school books. The benefits above are available from the relevant government department.*

There’s always a danger of getting a bit hysterical about these anecdotal cases. You generally can’t dock money from people’s welfare unless (and sometimes even if) fraud has been committed. Remember that people on welfare will often be below the arbitrarily defined poverty line, so a claimant is quite likely to avoid any penalties on hardship grounds. What you can do is bump someone down the priority list for housing, and I’d be surprised if this hadn’t already been done in Ms Fleming’s case. Remember she didn’t actually get that gaff in Clontarf.

Regarding the consolidation of Revenue, DSP, and other records – much of that was achieved thirty years ago. (I did some of it). Much of what’s left cannot be done because of privacy laws. Until we are prepared to have legislation like the US, where there is a mandatory single identification number for all services, also tied to bank accounts and utilities etc., there is no point complaining to anyone except our legislators.

As for the eye-opening amounts that some families get from the public purse, a) it is not a crime to claim your entitlements, b) it is not unjust to redistribute some wealth to the poorer off. Again, if the level of redistribution seems too high, complain to your legislators or form an interest group for tax payers such as exists in the UK. Venting spleen on a bulletin board will get you nowhere… though it is a very Irish habit :smiley:

My bad for not being clear. Rather than “mandatory identification number” I should have said mandatory sharing of information indexed by it. This exists for Revenue earnings data and DSP insurance and assistance schemes a.f.a.i.k. There are other areas where it does not. Privacy is not always a smokescreen issue. Many years ago DSP considered a “data vault” concept where data sharing could be administered through a combination of legal requirement and customer consent. It was a labyrinthine scheme and I don’t know what came of it.

You are right that the State should not be the ultimate moral arbiter, nevertheless it is the moral enforcer of last resort. Once you define a set of entitlements you may assume that some people will figure out how to benefit from them to the full. Just because you or I can afford to forego our entitlements once in a blue moon doesn’t mean everyone else can or should. Not all of them are shysters either. I could find you examples of people working for charity who are effectively funded by the State. They collude – entirely legally – with their employers to make sure that their benefit entitlements are maximised.

I’ll see if I can dig you up some actual monetary examples. In the mean time – didn’t somewhere start a thread here way back, listing all the various State aids?

The problem is Fianna Fáil

Within a kilometre you can have corporation properties, private properties rented to full paying tenants, private properties paid for by RA, affordable housing, housing associations, homeless hostels, run down hotels used as hostels

For the long term barely functioning people who need “minding” we should be building safe secure studio units to keep people off the streets. What 2Pack has outlined here.

I actually think we should open up council housing to private tenants. It would change the mix and feel and bring working people to areas where there is intergenerational unemployment

The whole notion of a housing list needs to be exploded. Failing that there should be a single housing list for all of the State. “We’ve found you a house ‘for life’. And it actually has 3 beds ! It’s in Nenagh”


There are 418 posts (and counting) today on this subject on a new Boards thread:
boards.ie/vbulletin/showthre … 468&page=1

From what I read, there is (refreshingly) zero support for her. On the flip side, she is being inundated with support on Twitter from SF types.