THE father of a young Letterkenny student has claimed she has become displaced after her accommodation suddenly fell through.
Speaking to the Donegal News the Midlands man told of how his daughter was due to take up accommodation in Walnut Grove in September, having paid her deposit for the incoming academic year in May.
But on Tuesday the man’s daughter and 49 other students received an e-mail stating their deposit was being returned. The e-mail, which has been seen by the Donegal News, said the cost of refurbishment at the property did not make the let viable for the period needed.
“We are writing to make you aware that Walnut Grove is no longer in a position to provide you with accommodation for the next academic year commencing September 2022.
“We have taken this decision as a result of costs incurred to refurbish the accommodation….”
The e-mail continues: “We have taken this decision now to ensure that students have adequate time to seek alternative accommodation.”
The correspondence further states that the company has spoken to the management of other accommodation providers to make them aware of the situation and provided their contact details in the e-mail.
“What is now going to happen to my daughter and others if they can’t secure accommodation for their studies? We are from the Midlands, that’s a four-hour drive from Letterkenny,” he said.
The man’s daughter is due to go into her second year at ATU, studying occupational therapy.
“She lived in Ballyraine Halls in the first year but she and her friend gave up their accommodation there to move to Walnut Grove with another friend for the incoming academic year.
“She missed out on the chance to study in Galway, but she was very happy about coming to study in Donegal and was very well settled. It is very unfair.
“It is unbelievable what has happened here. If they can’t get accommodation what are they going to do? Students are being displaced. This needs to be called out. It is so frustrating.”
The Donegal News contacted Walnut Grove for a response. It had not been received at the time of going to press. However, the man was contacted by Walnut Grove after speaking with us.
He told us: “I was on the phone to them for half an hour. They told me they can no longer provide student accommodation for the academic year of 2022-23 due to refurbishment costs during the summer and incoming winter costs. They have closed their doors to students and reduced places by 50.”