THE father of a wheelchair bound amputee who has been staying in a vacant squat in Ennis says he fears for his son’s life.
James Sherlock (Jnr) spent two weeks in May sleeping in a ground floor doorway in the Fairways apartment building near Marian Avenue.
The 24 year-old is confined to a wheelchair after losing both of his legs to amputation.
Heroin addiction lead to the amputation of Mr Sherlock’s right leg. He recently underwent surgery to amputate his left leg.
In February, Mr Sherlock pleaded guilty at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court to causing arson at the Lakes Nursing Home in Killaloe on August 20 (2010).
A Circuit Court Judge has adjourned sentencing to June to allow for suitable accommodation to be found for Mr Sherlock.
In April Judge Gerard Keyes said the “State must provide facilities” for Mr Sherlock. He said there would be “absolutely nothing to be gained by imposing a custodial sentence on this man”.
Speaking on Thursday Mr Sherlock said; “I’m homeless. I have been here for two weeks. It’s tough. I just want a place to stay.”
Mr Sherlock was previously a resident of the Redwood Extended Care Facility in Meath. His father, James Sherlock Snr says he doesn’t have the space or facilities in his own home to look after his son.
He says, “I’m a widower looking after eight children and now a grandchild. “Jimmy (pictured right) has had problems with drugs. I can’t have that around the kids. I don’t have the space at my house. He was staying in a place up in Meath and if the professionals couldn’t look after him, how can I?”
A number of meetings have taken place between Ennis Town Council, the HSE and the Probation Services with a view to finding suitable accommodation for James Sherlock Jnr. A council spokesman said last week that the meetings are ongoing.
Ennis Circuit Criminal Court was previously told that due to Mr Sherlock’s past behavioural difficulties and his conviction for arson, many nursing homes and hostels would not accept him due to insurance issues.
Judge Keyes said he would be prepared to impose a suspended sentence on condition that Mr Sherlock “respect the facilities afforded to him without any interference or unacceptable behaviour”.
He said he hoped his comments would alleviate some of the concerns of accommodation providers and local authorities. James Sherlock Snr said, “He’s been sleeping in a doorway with a blanket over him in a squat.
“It’s a disgrace. It’s a grand country for looking after everyone else but an Irish citizen can’t be looked after.”
He added; “Every morning I’m waiting for a call to tell me my son is dead. Jimmy has made mistakes but he’s entitled to some chance.”
The Fairways building, where James Sherlock Jnr has been sleeping, was recently issued with a dangerous structure notice by Clare County Council.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment. Contact Ronan on [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. The father says “It’s a disgrace. It’s a grand country for looking after everyone else but an Irish citizen can’t be looked after.” – Sorry, but why doesn’t James Sherlock (Jnr) look after himself?

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