Due to global overpopulation that will one day lead to a post-apocalyptic future were man will fight fellow man for precious resources such as food and water, student accommodation around Cork is pretty scarce these days. Most students have been unable to take the four mortgages needed to secure a room in Amnis House, and so have been left desperately searching for housing as term starts. Enterprising landlords have come up with a solution for this problem however; Bring back Tenement housing.
Molly Doyle, who is currently renting her four-bedroom, two bathroom on College Road to 30 UCC students, thinks the initiative is a tremendous idea, “The students love it, it’s like one big party for them, sure. Most importantly though, I’m making a boatload of cash off them.”
Doyle is not wrong, her house does indeed look like one big house party, but when it’s four o’clock, everyone is monged and wants to go home. Cian Murphy, a second year Chemistry student explains the atmosphere to me as he leads me through the house, “I know it looks like everyone is monged but it’s just the TB or the Malnutrition. But we’re still college students, we don’t let it get us down. We still like to party,” Cian smiles giving me a dazzling view of the two teeth he hasn’t lost to scurvy yet, “We have a party almost every night. Yeah they’re usually funeral parties but they’re still good craic you know?” I exclaim that the house is a shithole and I am promptly brought to the back garden to see the two bathrooms, two recently excavated holes, filled with shit.
This story however is not a completely dark one, as the resilient students have tried to find the silver lining in their new home.
“My last landlord hated animals, no pets at all.” Ciara Barry tells me, “But here we can have all the pets we want.” Ciara shows me her swarm of plague rats, brimming with pride and Black Death, “They’re adorable aren’t they. Once you get past the disease and the constant gnawing they’re actually dotes, like.” Ciara tries to pet one of the rats, but the nest hissed and attacked her hand. Afterwards Ciara shows me her second pet, a patch of black mould that is “Just, like, so cute and fluffy.”
“We save so much on heating too,” Cian said, as he leads me into a bedroom filled with 15 students, “Not that this place would have a radiator but still, we all snuggle up on that spacious single bed and we’re toasty for the night. It can be a bit noisy with all the coughing up blood and stuff, but you get used to it after a while.”
Food in the house is scarce, the few dozen residents are forced to split a ‘6 before six’ between 12 of them. The lads in the house, driven mad by Mooju withdrawal have resorted to trying to make their own by milking the rats, to no avail unfortunately. When Cian found his roommate eating his copy of the Irish Proclamation, because no college gaff is complete without at least 5, he knew it had gone too far.
When the group brought their concerns to Cork City Council they were rebuked. In a statement to University Express, one councillor had this to say: “These college students are so entitled these days. Wanting working ovens, working toilets, less rats. Who do they think they are? They’re lucky we’re not letting them freeze to death or sleep in Garda stations!”
The Express tried to reach Cian for a follow up piece, but sadly he had been eaten by the rats.
By Callum Casey