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Council probes rat infestation claims at estate in Clare town

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CLARE County Council is investigating claims of a rat infestation in a local authority estate in Killaloe following complaints from residents.
Residents in the new part of Crossroads are up in arms about the recent presence of rats in the estate and have called on the Council to ensure all tenants have bins receipts.
Householders pointed out there are a number of children with additional needs in the estate who wouldn’t realise the danger posed by a rat if they came in contact with one.
Tom O’Brien, who is living in Crossroads for about 14 years with his wife, Geraldine, son and stepson, said the rat issue started about four weeks ago.
He believes there is a nest of rats in the estate and is concerned about their ability to multiply very quickly, as a female can have four litters in a year.
Resident, Mary Monaghan said she contacted the council over four weeks ago yet no one has come out from environmental health to address this issue.
“I have a neighbour whose has a child on dialysis. If a rat gets into the house, it would be very dangerous for them.
“I have a granddaughter that has been diagnosed with Epilepsy.
“It is upsetting because I had Christmas stuff in my loft for 20 years, my Halloween stuff and memories of my late husband, Paul. All his FCA stuff is all ruined.
“I ended up with bluebottles in my bathroom. The rat must be dead somewhere in the cavity of my walls.
“We have been ringing and ringing the Council and they will not do anything.”
Ms Monaghan said she was sleeping downstairs as she was afraid to sleep upstairs and is very upset about the whole situation.
Having employed a pest control technician to carry out an inspection and lay bait, she believes the Council should at least send someone out to investigate this issue.
In his report, he found her premises to be very clean with no food source to attract rodents to the area, no holes around the pipework, no gaps under doors and no holes leading into the building.
“Pest control companies would recommend a drain survey to be carried out to indicate if there is a break in a pipe or an access point to the building cavity from the drainage system.
“As the house next door to Mary is vacant, an inspection should be carried out to check if there is rodent activity in that attic also.”
She said residents can’t leave the doors of their dwellings open because of the large number of small children in the estate.
Representations have been made to the Council by Councillor Tony O’Brien and Senator Timmy Dooley, who has been told by the Council it is carrying out an investigation.
Councillor O’Brien said he had contacted the Council’s housing and environment section who are dealing with this complaint and urged the Council to establish the source of this problem as quickly as possible.
Senator Dooley said if there is an over concentration of rats in the estate, this will have to be tackled.
Responding to Clare Champion queries, Clare County Council stated it does not comment on individual cases in the interest of protection of privacy.
The authority pointed out as per the Tenant Handbook the tenant is responsible for pest control within the property.
The Council continues to investigate in relation to the complaint of an estate wide infestation and will engage pest control services if deemed necessary.

by Dan Danaher

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