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Published on: Simon Stories

Ciara’s Story

Pictured: Ciara and her son

I didn’t want Paul to see me cry. But he’d know if there was anything wrong and he’ll
tell me about 100 times a day – ‘I love you so much mammy’ he’d say”. Ciara, mother to Paul aged 4

Thanks to your support Ciara and Paul have a safe place to call home and are busy rebuilding their lives.

Families like Ciara and Paul have been able to find safe and secure accommodation with the help of the Galway Simon Community Support team. Ciara is a young woman who has been through more in her life than most people face in their lifetime. When Ciara first got in touch with Galway Simon Community she was living with her four year old son, Paul, in her sister Niamh’s small, one bedroom flat in Galway city.“It was touch and go for Paul. I lost count of how many times they told us that he could die. When you have a doctor telling you that your child has five minutes to live… there was a lot of praying, a lot of crying.”But Ciara’s struggle started long before that. Paul had been born nine weeks prematurely and had to stay in hospital in Dublin until he was six months old. It had been an incredibly stressful time for this new mother and she spent those months travelling up and down from her home town in rural Galway.

When Ciara was finally allowed to bring Paul home, she thought that life could only get better. But more heartache lay ahead.“It started with name calling. But then it got worse.”Ciara’s partner had turned violent, and she didn’t want little Paul to grow up watching her suffer. For their safety, she had to leave – not only her home but also the town that she had lived in all her life.

With little money saved, her only choice was to move in with her sister in Galway City. Although they had a roof over their head they did not have a secure home and had to stay hidden from Niamh’s landlord or they’d all be at risk.

Thanks to our wonderful supporters, Galway Simon was able to provide Ciara and Paul with the all the practical help and emotional support they so desperately needed. Ciara’s story has an ending. We helped her to find a small apartment and a good landlord. Galway Simon continue to support Ciara in her new home and this family finally have a place to feel safe.“He tells me, ‘Mammy, I love this place,’ and he’s starting to call it home now – he never used to call Niamh’s apartment home.”Donations to Galway Simon can help our Community Support team to help vulnerable families like Ciara’s to find safe, secure housing.DONATE NOW