A well known Laois man and retired soldier recently made the huge decision to give up his three bedroom home so a young family of four could move in and live in better conditions.
Paddy Phelan from Abbeyleix made the selfless decision to contact Respond housing agency late last year and offer up his house in exchange for a smaller maisonette.
After speaking on Midlands 103 he told the Leinster Express about how he came to make the decision.
He had raised his four daughters in the house since 2006 and said they have all grown up now and moved out.
“I just said look the girls are up and gone, they fly in and fly out again, I just said to myself it would be nice for me to move just to accommodate someone,” he said.
The 55-year-old is settled into his new maisonette on Temperance Street, Abbeyleix where he said his new neighbours have welcomed him with open arms.
This is just minutes away from the family home he gave up in Gort Na Noir estate in the town.
“It was in my heart anyway to move and give a younger family an opportunity because when I got the house in 2006 I was delighted to get it and I said I would like to let another family get the same feeling.
“At the end of the day I am only returning back what I got and I was very appreciative at the time to get it. Deep down in my heart, I don't expect any praise for it because I have got a little maisonette now. I went in and viewed it before I moved into it and I am very happy in it,” he said.
Paddy thanked all involved in helping him with the move and all of the locals in Abbeyleix who he said have been supportive and wished him well.
A young family of four who were living in a two bedroom house in the same estate said their former living arrangements caused them stress as their son and daughter had to share a room.
Kieran Ritchie and Lauren Martin have benefitted from Paddy’s selfless move. Their children now have their own rooms and
Kieran said he has never seen his children happier.
“I am extremely grateful, our family is extremely grateful. I have never seen my kids happier. It’s a completely different atmosphere. The kids have their own space and when they were sharing the room they were on top of each other which aggravated them.
“It was a lot of hassle and I was stressed to be honest seeing kids the way they were and at each other constantly. We got the keys on Valentine’s Day, we moved in that weekend.
“I do respect Paddy for it a lot because obviously, he had memories here of his girls growing up in his house. Thanks to Paddy we will make memories in this house,” he said.