CAMBRIDGE COURT CHRONICLES

being a true account of life in a sheltered housing complex in Ringsend Dublin

Tag: dublin city council

I’m not dead yet

It is over two months or so since I last posted anything here. Nothing has changed …….the bullies are still running the place. No one cares.  I am , I suppose , wasting my time but what else is there to do ? Is there anyone out there actually reading the blog ?

Sheltered Housing Bullying the story continues.

It is several weeks since I last posted anything on this blog. Nothing new has happened – just the same old misery – and to be honest , I’m tired of moaning……I only have one excuse and that is that if I did not moan I would go mad or perhaps I might have killed myself by now. Nothing has changed. The bullies are still running the show. The great and the good are looking the other way.

I wonder from time to time why I even bother to continue with this blog……but I don’t wonder for long. The simple fact is that this is a chronicle of bullying…It is a story that needs to be told and I am the only one  to tell it. There are no other blogs like this on the web – this is the only blog that deals with the bullying of old people in sheltered  housing or indeed anywhere else for that matter. Google ” old people , bullying ” and mine is the only blog you will find. It is unique. It’s a one-off.  And so , for better or worse , here it is and here it will remain.

Sometimes I look back at what I have written and feel embarrassed at the poor quality of the writing  but I never edit it. It may be badly written but it has the virtue of being honest. It is also true. And besides, I’m not here to impress people. The only reason I AM here is so that no one will be able to say that they didn’t know………that is , after all what they always say , isn’t it.

 

DOING TIME WITH THE BULLIES

It is exactly 6 years and 6 months since I first moved into Cambridge Court. I doubt if I will live for another 6 years…….. It is two weeks since I was offered a transfer out of Cambridge Court to a place that was probably no better and perhaps a lot worse. I don’t have time on my side. I’m not going to live forever. I’m getting older by the minute……..and I do feel old. And so , that question that Lenin asked , “What is to be done”. Do I just give up , let the bullies have their way and resign myself to spending my last few years ( or months)  living a life that’s not worth living. That’s a rhetorical question. Such an option is no option. So , what IS to be done ?

Every day I think of the bullies. Every minute of every day I think of those bullies. I will think of them right up to the very second that I die. And I think of the thugs in Dublin City Council who willfully and deliberately  support those bullies in each and every act of bullying and intimidation. I have nothing else to do but think. I am not going away. I’m not giving up.  I’m watching……..

DEATH SENTENCE

A few days ago I got yet another letter from Dublin City Council. I did not read it as I’m sure it’s not a letter of apology on their part for the years of intimidation that tenants in Cambridge Court have had to suffer. But it seems likely that they will evict me. I don’t know how long this will take but I imagine it will be a couple of months or so. At my age being evicted would be tantamount to a death sentence. It is quite impossible to get an affordable flat in Dublin just now and if your old and working class then it is probably pointless to even try to find somewhere. There are of course homeless shelters and hostels but these are not the sort of place that any normal person would want to live in. So if I was evicted it would just mean that I would have to live on the street. At my age and in my state of health I would not last very long -perhaps a couple of weeks but not much more than that.

Funnily enough none of this is any surprise to me. When I first made an official complaint of bullying to Dublin City Council about a year  ago I knew that eventually it would come down to this. Every victim of institutional  type bullying  fully understands  that if they push the issue then it’s only a matter of time before they are turned on by the very people who are supposed to be protecting them. Most victims  just suffer in silence and die before their time. Obliviously  I’m not happy about this situation that I am in but there are worst things than dying…..and we are all going to die at some point so it might as well be now as any other time. Fear is a very potent weapon and bullies and their protectors thrive on it. As a weapon it works very well …..unless that is , you overplay your hand and push people too far. And if you do push people too far have they  a moral right to hit back ? Have they a legal right to hit back ? This is a perfectly legitimate question. It is a perfectly reasonable question to ask and the fact that some people may not be happy that  this  question is being asked does not alter anything. This was one of the questions raised by the Nuremberg trials.

It is Friday afternoon here in Dublin and it is a wet miserable day. I am sitting in my flat while the bullies are in the Common Room enjoying themselves. No one else is there but that is not unusual. They seem particularly  brazen these last few weeks and are , I would imagine , enjoying this whole situation. But I would hate to be living inside their heads……

COMMUNITY POLICING AND SHELTERED HOUSING

For several years now the local community Gardai have been visiting the bullies who run Cambridge Court. I have never know them in all that time to actually call on tenants and so I can honestly say that they have been calling down to see the bullies but in the last few weeks this has changed. Now they are calling to see me. I did not invite them. I did not ask them to call and I would rather they didn’t……….

One of them called on me today and asked if there had been any more trouble. He was referring to the fact that a couple of weeks ago I took the lock off a door in Cambridge Court so that tenants could use the kitchen. The implication  of his  question was of course that I had caused trouble. The trouble was actually caused by the retired matron who for years has refused to let tenants use the place and the Gardai who responded to her phone call instead of simply saying that it was a private matter and nothing to do with them. There has been trouble in Cambridge Court for years but it only became trouble to the Gardai when , after six years of extreme patience and restraint on my part I felt it had just gone on far too long. The Gardai are not calling on this retired matron to tell her she must not prevent tenants using the kitchen nor are they calling on Dublin City Council to advise them to put an end to this situation – they are only calling on me. This is quite intimidating and the message I am getting is very clear……

There is , as I have said , trouble in Cambridge Court every day of the week and big trouble at that but that’s not a matter that the Gardai or DCC are interested in. They only become interested if a tenant  decides he/she has  had enough. None of this is in any way in the interest of tenants but who cares about the tenants. They presumably should be grateful they have a roof over their heads and leave it at that. Not only is it not in the interest of tenants it is positively harmful to tenants. Tenants who for years have lived without hope now have the message driven home that it is pointless  to even try to change things. Is this what community police is all about ? Bullying is a serious offense and there  is evidence of it in abundance in Cambridge Court for anyone who cares to open their eyes but obviously no one is even remotely interested. At no point in the last few weeks has any Garda or detective  Garda  expressed any interest in investing the matter. It is just not that important. It may well , as the evidence suggests , shorten the life of it’s victims and do them appalling damage but that is not even an issue with the authorities.

Meanwhile , back in the real world , the nasty intimidating world of sheltered housing the bullying and intimidation goes on unchallenged. The victims are on their own. Not only are they abandoned and alone but the Gardai are there to make sure it stays that way. As I keep repeating over and over again on this blog – the bullies are not the problem , it is the people who protect them  that are the problem.

 

CAMBRIDGE COURT BINGO/SNOOKER HALL

It is Tuesday night in Cambridge Court. Bingo night. As I write this there are at least twenty people playing bingo in the  tenants Day Room/Common Room but they don’t actually live in Cambridge Court. Tenants as usual are stuck in their one room bedsits with nothing to do. This has been going on for at least ten years and there is nothing they can do about it. If any tenant was to go over right now and insist on their right to use the Day Centre the bullies would call the police and the Gardai would be quick to tell the tenants to behave themselves. Dublin City Council go out of their way to protect the bullies and so tenants are on their own. No one is looking after the interests of the tenants……Not the Gardai and certainly not Dublin City Council.

It is a very hot night here in Dublin and I had  my door open to cool my flat down but had to  close the door due to the noise of these people. They were , by the way , enjoying a nice cup of tea made in the Day Centre kitchen from which tenants have been banned for years now. The last time I tried to use this facility the Gardai were called and Dublin City Council accuse me of anti-social behavior.

BULLIES 1 VICTIMS 0

Yesterday evening at 6:30 I was having my dinner when two Garda detectives  knocked on my door. They had come to see me about my blog. They were polite , even friendly and left after I agreed to moderate some of the language  I use in my blog. They were here for perhaps twenty minutes. It was not intimidating in any way -although any visit from the police tends to make one a little uncomfortable. But like I say , they were courteous and polite so not harm done. Or at least no obvious harm done……

The reason they called on me  was that the bullies in Cambridge Court complained to the Gardai and Dublin City Council and presumable the council complained to the Gardai. The fact that the Gardai might not see it that way does not alter the facts. The Gardai did not call on Dublin City Council to ask them why tenants are being bullied , nor did they call on the bullies and ask them to desist. And a couple of years ago when I was threatened  by one of the bullies their  only response was to tell me that they could not get involved as it was a matter for Dublin City Council. The simple fact is that the only thing this visit from the Gardai achieved was to make the bullies feel even more invincible than they already are. The finer arguments and small print are academic -the bullies got what they wanted. That’s the bottom line. Nothing has changed apart from that. No one , not one single soul felt threatened by what I wrote in my blog and the fact that I will moderate my language  in future will probably not even be noticed.

The Gardai will feel they have done their duty and protected the community. The council will feel that they have put me back in my cage and in my place and the bullies…….They will just sit back  scratch their bellies and snigger as they continue to bully. Game set and match. And as to the tenants  (victims) – well , as I keep repeating , they just don’t matter. Things will go on just as they always have……and by the way , your paying for all this with your  taxes.

Cambridge Court at Night

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It is 12:30 at night and I’m typing this out in the Day Centre in Cambridge Court. I should be in my flat watching the world cup but the noise from the pub across the road has made that impossible.  This is no way to live. Six years living in Cambridge Court and 68 years of age and I have never once been to bed before 3:00 AM.  So much for sheltered housing. So much for the ‘caring community’.  This will go on until I die. The ironic thing is that many of the low life making noise in the pub tonight  have a free run of Cambridge Court when they want to play their bingo or whatever.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so sick. As you can see from the photo the Day Room is like a room in an institution ( which of course Cambridge Court is). I would be more than happy to buy some armchairs and couches for the place and maybe a coffee table and some rugs to make the place more inviting and comfortable but that would not suit the bullies. Making the place nice for the tenants would interfere with the bingo. And as you know , there’s money to be made at the bingo….especially if your a bully who runs the place as if it was his own personal fiefdom.

The Day Centre in Cambridge Court looks and smells like  an institution. It’s about as inviting as an institution too. This is the kitchen.

day centre 001

I’ve never seen a tenant , not even one , use that kitchen.  But three nights a week people who don’t live in Cambridge Court have the run of it. These people are friends of the bullies and there is of course money to be made in all of this. And political capital also……..everyone thinks the bullies are wonderful people – or rather they choose to believe it. If there is one thing that I have learned in this life of mine it’s that people are not stupid.  Nor are they blind.  They know whats going on but have their own vested interests in not knowing.  – It is now 1:15 am. There are still people roaring , cursing and shouting in the pub ( Sally’s Return – the dirtiest pub in Ireland) but the ‘music’ seems to have stopped. I’ll go home to my flat now and try and get the tail end of the match , if it is not over by now.  I’ll post this blog post tomorrow……

day centre 002

Thursday Night Low Life : Sheltered Housing

It’s thursday night in Cambridge Court.  Just outside my door there are a gang of low life shouting , swearing and having a rare old time at my expense. They are taking over the day room for the night and I’m sure they will appreciate the new paint job that some charitable persons did a few days ago. Mind you , those ‘charitable’ people don’t live here either and I for one did not ask them to paint anything……It’s a hot close night – there is no air but my front door is firmly shut to keep out the noise. I don’t want my door closed but I’m only a tenant and what I want doesn’t matter. Tomorrow night there will be another gang in the day centre None of them live in Cambridge Court either. All of this is organised by the bullies for their own benefit of course. They make very real political capital out of it all. And they use that capital to oppress the tenants. It’s a vicious circle and they are pulling the strings.

People , real people , old people have been driven to contemplating suicide here. None of this is a joke. This is serious stuff – it doesn’t  get any more serious. I call these people low life because that is what they are. Dublin City Council don’t want to know. Neither do the various health and welfare services.  The needs of abused and bullied tenants is not even a consideration for these people. So be it. I went to Dublin City Council once to try to have something done but they just didn’t want to know. So be it indeed.

I have often sat here in my flat planning how to take these bullies out. I have rehearsed in my mind how I might put them out of their  misery . They are after all miserable people will miserable petty lives and no one would miss them. None of the tenants would.  And I would be doing humanity a great service.

A few days ago a reader left a comment on one of my blog posts. They said they liked reading my blog but were not happy about the violent thoughts I expressed.  My answer to this is that I don’t care.  I care about the people in old people’s homes and sheltered housing complexes and such places who’s lives are often a living hell.  And I want to tell the truth , warts and all .  I’m not trying to make friends or  win respect or whatever. This is not some ego trip that I’m on.  Bullying is nasty , venial and violent and the nastiest people of all are those in authority who make a fine art out of looking the other way.. .The only people who are even worse are the do-gooders on the sideline.

If your looking for something lighter to read why not visit my other blog which is called ( suprise , suprise)  THE MAN WITH NO FRIENDS

FEAR AND INTIMIDATION IN SHELTERED HOUSING RINGSEND

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Cambridge Court looks like a nice place. It’s even pretty in its own way. But looks can be deceiving. You can not , as the saying goes , judge a book by its cover. You would never guess to look at it  that some of the inmates of Cambridge Court went on the transfer list because they were feeling suicidal after a couple of years living there. Things aren’t always what they seem or claim to be. This is the public face of care in the community the private reality is very different.

It is , by the way , open to the public. The gates are never locked. It is used , that’s a very appropriate word , by the local community for bingo , snooker and just about everything  else. The day centre / common room can be hired for any occasion. All you need is the nod from the bullies and its yours. You won’t be bothered by the tenants….They are too cowed and intimidated to raise any objection.  Why not come down and check the place out.  Once upon a time people used to visit Bedlam for a day out so why not visit Cambridge Court.  Now that the nice weather is coming you could arrange to have a picnic or garden party in the grounds , and why not , half the population of Ringsend are doing that already…..’though you might find some of them a bit rough for your liking. But that I suppose is what gives the place much of its charm…..Bring the children down for the day.  Have a picnic and make a day of it.  There is even a little kitchen where you can cook yourself a meal and like I say you won’t be bothered by the tenants as they never go near the place. THEY have been put well and truly in their place and they understand that the kitchen is VERBOTEN for them.  Yes , the tenants know their place so you won’t be bothered by them.

Come one , come all.  Make a day of it. A few minutes drive from the city centre and Sandymount strand just up the road.  What more could you ask for ?  No appointment necessary …Open 24 hours a day.

 

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