Ballymun apartment block - undergoing ongoing regeneration

A 30-year-old mother of two froze to death in her Dublin apartment after the council refused to switch her heating  back on. Rachel Peavoy died in her bedroom of hypothermia during last winter’s prolonged cold snap.

Peavoy had appealed to the council to restore the heaying in the apartment that she shared with her two young sons. She was unsuccessful even though Housing Minister Noel Ahern had made representations on her behalf.

She was found dead in her north Dublin, Ballymun apartment on January 11 last year. The police who discover her body said that the apartment was “freezing”.

Peavoy has spoken to her mother the day before she was found dead. She had asked her mother to mind her sons, Leon and Warren, and said she was turning off her phone because she was not sleeping.

The next day, after numerous attempts to contact Peavoy, her bother Leon Peavoy and friend Jacqueline Johnston let themselves into the apartment and found her body.

After the inquest the doctor called for a public inquiry into her death. At a preliminary hearing at Dublin City Corner’s Court they heard of Peavoy’s appeals to help her heat the flat.

One month before her death she had visited the doctors asking for a letter for heating costs. Following this the Minister for Housing Noel Ahern made a plea to the council on her behalf.

The council told the mother-of-two that it was impossible to restore her heating due to the vacant apartments surrounding hers and the ongoing regeneration work in the area.

Doctor Ciaran Craven, who represented the Peavoy family at the inquest said that case involved “a young woman with no other system disorder" dying of hypothermia and there was "ample evidence" that the heating was not working.

Peavoy suffered from back pain and a borderline personality disorder. Craven told the Coroner, Doctor Brian Farrell, that the apartment had been “perilously cold” on the night of her death.

There was no representative from the Dublin City Council at the hearing. An inquest will take place on February 24.