Dying man slams Housing Executive in heating row

A LISNASKEA man who has two years left to live has accused the Housing Executive of waiting for him to die rather than replace his heating.

Michael McCaffrey has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) with the condition so advanced that he is expected to die within the next 24 months.

He moved into a Housing Executive property in Lisnaskea last year with assurances that the antiquidated heating system in the house would be replaced along with the door and bathroom window getting new glass panes.


However, nothing has happened and McCaffrey says that despite many a phone call, he feels he is being fobbed off.

“I was in a two-storey house up in Newtownbutler,” said Michael, “but was moved to a new address in Lisnaskea by the Housing Executive.

“I’ve been living here for a year and I’m still waiting on two panes of glass – one for the bathroom window and the other for my front door.

“I am also waiting for the heating system to be replaced. The one that the Housing Executive has in these houses is 19 years old. By law – and I was told this by a member of the Housing Executive – that after so many years, the whole heating system has to be changed.

“I’ve been on to them since I moved here to get the heating changed. However, they’re not doing it because they say the heating is working.

“But I can tell them that it is not working that well. The man who lives next door to me has just got new heating in from them. He told me to get onto the Housing Executive as I was entitled to get new heating the same as him.

“Right enough, they were there early one morning carrying in new radiators and pipes. I got back onto the Housing Executive and explained all of this while telling them how fed up I was with them.


“I told them ‘I’m fed up to the teeth with you – you don’t care about me. You’re treating me like he’s going to die anyway so just throw him to the corner’.

“They denied it. I then asked them when I was getting my new windows. They said 2024 – I could well be dead by then.

“I reminded them that when I signed up for this house, they told me I’d be getting new windows this month. They denied it but I reminded them that is what they said. I told them that my niece also witnessed this conversation and they should not be calling the two of us ‘liars’.

“The reply to that was ‘maybe we may have made a mistake’ – they were just fobbing me off.”

The Herald contacted the Housing Executive about Michael’s case and were informed that the windows and heating system will be replaced as soon as possible.

A spokeswoman said: “Our staff are doing everything possible to support this tenant and we have been in regular contact with him.

“When the tenancy was accepted last year, he was advised a window replacement scheme was planned for April 2023.

“However, due to escalating construction costs, the maintenance contractors were unable to fulfil their contract.

“This was beyond our control and, subject to a new contract being in place, this work will be completed as soon as possible.

“Meanwhile, windows at the property have been inspected and panes of glass in the bathroom and in the hallway are being replaced.

“The tenant also raised concerns that radiators weren’t heating properly.

“After inspection, all radiators were found to be working as normal and advice was give on their correct use.

“As the heating system is of an older variety, we have agreed to replace this in an upcoming scheme, which should provide increased energy efficiency and comfort to the tenant.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA